Yesterday afternoon violent storms ravaged the Dallas Fort Worth region, causing power-outages, structural damage, and of course countless automobile and truck accidents. Strong winds actually ripped the roof off the Arlington Baptist College dorm, collapsed Stockyards walls, shattered windows and downed trees and streetlights. We certainly needed the rain, but that was ridiculous!
Numerous traffic crashes occurred during the storm, including a tractor-trailer that rolled over on Randol Mill in Arlington. Because of trees and debris on the road and damage to traffic signals, many streets remained unsafe for drivers throughout the night.
How Bad Weather Affects Traffic Safety
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimates that, of the 5,870,000 automobiles accidents that happen every year, almost one-fourth are weather-related. More than 480,000 people are injured and about 6,250 die every year in weather-related automobile crashes. Wet pavement and heavy rainfall are the two most dangerous weather conditions, contributing to approximately 28 percent of all automobile accidents. Snow, sleet, ice, slush, fog and wind also affect driving safety.
Weather conditions affect roadway conditions and traffic flow in many ways, including:
- Wind speed: Airborne dust reduces your visibility distance. Dust and debris blown onto the roadway may obstruct your path.
- Precipitation: Heavy rain reduces your visibility distance. Even light rain can affect roadway friction and cause your tires to lose traction.
- Fog: Fog limits your visibility distance.
- Pavement damage: Heat, rain and wind can damage pavement, resulting in dangerous driving conditions.
- Flooding: When the lane becomes submerged in water, you could lose control of your car or get trapped in your vehicle.
Staying Safe While Driving in Bad Weather
Although you cannot control the weather, you can avoid accidents during inclement weather. Consumer Reports — and common sense — advises staying indoors or pulling over until the weather passes.
However, if you must drive during a downpour, you should take precautions, such as:
- Lowering your speed to prevent hydroplaning on slick pavement
- Leaving more space between your car and the one in front of you
- Avoiding driving through puddles if possible
- Never driving through water if you are unsure how deep it is
- Not using cruise control
During high and gusty winds you should
- Keep a tight grip on the steering wheel with both hands
- Monitor your speed while driving into headwinds
- Adjust your steering to accommodate sidelong winds
- Remain especially alert when passing a tractor-trailer or driving through a tunnel
Were You Injured During Yesterday’s Dallas and Tarrant County Storm?
Bad weather is a contributing factor in many Dallas Fort Worth car accidents each year, but it is rarely the sole cause. Many times, the drivers involved are acting reasonably, but we’ve seen that other driver errors, such as speeding, failing to yield the right of way, distracted driving, following to closely, or driving while intoxicated or impaired causes collisions on days like yesterday.
If you were injured in a weather-related traffic accident, Bill Berenson Injury Law may be able to help you. Call our our Dallas-Fort Worth law firm at
817-885-8000 or toll-free at 1-888-801-8585 to schedule your free
consultation. If you are driving today, stay safely!