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Driving Safely in Florida’s Hurricane Season

 

Chances are that you are familiar with hurricane season. As a resident of Florida, knowing that hurricane season runs from June through November is something we take for granted. If you are planning a vacation to our beautiful state, though, you need to understand what a hurricane can mean for drivers.

Whether you have lived in Florida all your life or are only going to be spending a week here, we have put together some tips that should help you drive safely should you be stuck riding out a hurricane.

1. Stay Off the Road

The number one tip for safe driving during a hurricane is: Don’t. That said, there are times that you can’t avoid driving, so try to group all of your errands together so that you only have to drive to and from and then not again. The roads can be dangerous even if you are on the fringes of a storm.

2. Maintain Safe Distances

If you can’t help but drive, be sure to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the others on the road. Remember that it will take longer for you to stop on slick roads, so you don’t want to be too close to the vehicle in front of you.

Passing other vehicles can be tricky as well. You want to make sure that you aren’t pulling in front of them without a decent amount of distance. Wait until you can see the vehicle completely in your rearview mirror before getting in front of it.

3. Don’t Get Overconfident

No matter what type of vehicle you drive, you are not all powerful. Larger vehicles may have a propensity to tip or roll and small, light vehicles may hydroplane faster. There is no perfect vehicle for a hurricane, meaning you have to drive the one you’ve got with common sense.

Don’t drive aggressively during a hurricane — or any storm, for that matter. Keep your eye out for drivers who may not be making the best decisions. Don’t drive distracted and don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking.

Remember, even if you’ve driven in Florida weather all your life, you’re not immune to the effects of bad weather. Always practice defensive driving.

4. Handling a Spin

It’s easy to spin on slick roads, and it’s even easier to panic. If you find your vehicle skidding or slipping, don’t slam on the brakes. You want to take your foot off the gas and let your car coast through the skid while you maintain control of the wheel.

Turn your wheel in the direction that you want to go, but turn gently. You will find yourself spinning out of control if you jerk the wheel too hard either way. You will feel your tires catch when you’ve regained control.

5. Turn Around, Don’t Drown

If you’ve not heard this little saying yet, it’s time you learned it. Never drive on a roadway that is covered with water. If you can’t see the pavement, you shouldn’t continue your journey forward. Turn around and find another route.

If all of the streets are flooded, it’s too dangerous to drive. Far too many people have found themselves in dangerous situations because they thought they would chance driving through a flooded road.

If you do happen to get stuck in standing water and your car stalls, don’t try to start it. There is dirt and debris floating through flood water that could clog up and destroy your engine. Call a tow truck instead.

6. Know the Laws of Intersections

An intersection that has a malfunctioning light should be treated as a four-way stop. Even if your light is yellow, stop. Speeding through a yellow light isn’t going to do you or anyone any favors. It’s also the law to treat an out-of-order intersection as a four-way stop.

Driving Safely in Florida's Hurricane Season infographic

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Call a Pensacola Car Accident Attorney Today

If you are in a car accident in Pensacola during hurricane season or any other time of the year, reach out to our office. We can review the details of your accident and advise you of the legal options you have.

Call us at (850) 444-4878 or contact us online to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more.

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