If you are a veteran motorist here in South Florida, you are aware of the startling ferocity of sudden afternoon summer storms, which can quickly eliminate visibility. If you are new to the area, understand driving can quickly become all but impossible and the best move is often to pull over to a safe location and wait out these fast moving thunderstorms.
In either case, reviewing best driving practices can help keep you and your family safe.
Rainy Season Driving Tips
Through 50 years of representing the injured here in SWFL, our personal injury lawyers in Cape Coral and Fort Myers see many common accident scenarios that can be avoided with a little awareness and a little patience.
- Service your vehicle: Florida’s year around sunshine too often leaves vehicle maintenance on the back burner. While northern drivers typically make a point of having their vehicle serviced in the fall or spring, Florida’s endless summer leaves local drivers with nothing but the call of the open road. Tires are of particular concern as never-ending blistering asphalt can quickly degrade tires, often taking drivers by surprise until they quickly lose traction in the rain.
- Watch the weather: As ferocious as South Florida thunderstorms are, they are rarely a surprise. They typically hit in the late afternoon and can often be seen as sheets of dark clouds that extend to the ground as they sweep in off the gulf.
- Don’t stop in the road: Motorists taken by surprise by the quickly dwindling visibility may come to a stop, or near stop, in a travel lane, which drastically increases the risk they will be rearended. Always pull over to a safe location.
- Choose your battles: If you don’t have to drive in late afternoon, don’t. This is particularly wise advice considering these storms often hit during afternoon rush hour, which is a terrible time to be on the roads of Southwest Florida anyway.
- Standing water: Never drive in standing water. It is common for storm systems to take time to deal with an afternoon deluge. If you routinely encounter standing water on your route, choose a different route. Generally, newer, main arteries are better equipped to keep up with stormwater.
- Rules of the road: The same safe-driving advice that always applies, applies double during bad weather. Wear your seat belt. Don’t speed. Obey traffic rules. Don’t drive aggressively. Always signal your intentions. And don’t drive distracted.
- Patience: Driving in Southwest Florida often tests the patience of motorists. Allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Staying calm at the wheel is the best thing you can do to reduce the chances you will be involved in a serious collision.
Our car accident attorneys in Fort Myers and Cape Coral wish you an enjoyable summer. Whether you have a road trip planned or are just trying to survive the daily commute, keeping safety at the forefront is always the best course of action.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.