Winter Storm Brings Dangerous Driving Conditions
Around the nation, California winter is often dismissed as mild and pleasant in comparison to either the upper Midwest or East Coast. In reality, devastating storms can decimate the state as weather systems generated over the Pacific Ocean and high atop the mountain ranges collide across the state. Snow storms, mudslides and powerful straight-line winds can destroy property and injure – or even kill – California residents.
In the highly-populated communities of Southern California, the heavy winds and rain can make even a simple drive deadly.
A violent winter storm that struck California in early February dropped several inches of precipitation and triggered massive mudslides across the state. The storm was bolstered by winds gusting up to 67 miles per hour – knocking down power lines and uprooting trees.
Large sections of roadways – including stretches of Highway 101 and the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) – were closed due to a combination of the weather and the vehicle accidents that the weather had caused. If you are facing dangerous weather and must drive to work, school or to complete vital household errands, it is crucial that you follow certain safe driving tips, including:
- Take your time: The natural inclination is to reach your destination as quickly as possible to get off the dangerous roads. Slowing down a bit gives you a longer response time and the chance to identify hazards well in advance.
- Turn on your lights: Even if it is daylight, turning on your lights can help other motorists quickly see your vehicle during a rain shower.
- Give other vehicles more space: Closely related to the first point, drivers should take care to slow down. Inserting an additional one or two seconds of distance between cars can add crucial stopping distance as you have a greater chance of sliding or hydroplaning on drenched surfaces.
Driving in winter weather can be dangerous. From rain to snow to hail to powerful wind, drivers should be cautious to ensure the safety of all those on the road. If you were injured in a vehicle collision during bad weather, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced car accident attorney.