Many people move to Florida from states with real winters because of the warm weather and sunshine. The ability to avoid driving in months of snowy and icy road conditions also is a big perk.
However, for those new to the Sunshine State or those visiting or spending their first full summer here, Florida weather can impact driving safety. In Florida, torrential downpours in the late afternoon, often right around rush hour, are common. Also, because of the humidity and fluctuations in temperature, Florida is prone to fog and low visibility conditions.
So here are five tips from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department for the next time you face hazardous incliment road conditions:
- Slow down. If you come from a snowy state, you know what can happen if you drive too fast in snowy or icy conditions: your car can end up skidding out and crashing into other cars or a ditch. In Florida, heavy rain can leave roadways full of water, increasing risks of hydroplaning or skidding.
- Drive with your lights on low beam. If you use your high beams, the light can reflect back, lowering visibility even more. You also make yourself more seen by other drivers with your low beams on in fog and in rain.
- Keep your windshield clean, wipers in good condition and your defrosters on. You need to replace your windshield wipers yearly so that you aren’t driving in a big downpour and have ineffective windshield wipers. Defrosters keep your windows clear so you can see the road and other vehicles better.
- Avoid stopping on the road. It’s much safer if in heavy rain or bad fog, you pull off to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights.
- Signal lane changes and turns in advance and break early. If you need to move right to make an exit off the freeway or slow down for a red light, allow plenty of time for you to do that. Again, you want to make sure drivers behind you see what you are doing when visibility is bad. The same goes for making turns, so other motorists are aware of your presence.
Driving in heavy rain and fog can be very stressful in minimal visibility. If you follow these tips, you are more likely to avoid a bad accident. If you do sustain significant injuries in a roadway crash because of poor conditions, perhaps because a driver failed to follow these safety tips, consult a personal injury lawyer. You may need representation for a fair insurance settlement.