Take Care When Driving During An El Niño Fall

Posted on: 1 September 2015

With predictions of an El Niño lasting through this fall and beyond, people across the country are bracing for changes in weather. While some areas of the country may be drier than usual, others will experience more precipitation. Preparing in advance and practicing safe driving techniques can help you avoid accidents.

Wet Conditions (South and Southwest Drivers)

Driving during times of heavy rain can be dangerous. Prepare your car for upcoming wet weather by replacing your windshield wipers. This will help ensure good visibility while on the road.

Check your tires for cracks or bulges, because they are indications of dangerous tire problems. In addition, check your tires for adequate tread. Your tire tread should be worn evenly to ensure good grip on the road. Tires that are unevenly worn may have an asymmetrical appearance and random bald patches on the surface of the tire. Uneven wear indicates that your tires need replacement and some part of your car (like the struts) may also need repair. If your tires need replacing, bring your car to a mechanic and consider purchasing tires designed for wet-weather performance.

When driving in wet weather, tap your brakes after driving through puddles to help dry the brake pads and rotors. Never drive through puddles of unknown or uncertain depth. In addition, keep your car closer to the middle of the road than usual. Roads are designed to shed water off the sides and the middle is generally the most free of puddles.

Driving in Dry Conditions (Pacific Northwest and Ohio River Valley Drivers)  

Driving in unusually dry conditions can have its own hazards. Be careful when driving around dry vegetation like dry leaves and grass. Avoid driving your car directly over any piles of dry vegetation, especially if your car has a catalytic converter. Catalytic converter surfaces can reach up to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause dry vegetation to catch fire.

If your area is susceptible to wild fires, avoid driving in smoky conditions. If you must drive in smoke, treat smoke like fog. Use your low beams to help guide you as you drive. Smoke (like fog) can create the illusion of driving slowly, even when the car is speeding. Pay careful attention to your speedometer and if necessary, stay safely under the speed limit to avoid accidents.

Following these tips should help you avoid accidents on the road this fall and winter. If you are injured in an automobile accident, lost wages and medical bills could become a burden. Contact a personal injury lawyer at a site like http://caminezlaw.net for help.