Whether commuting to work, running errands, or visiting family living far away, drivers throughout Florida can find themselves traveling in inclement weather. One recent event revealed that the states composing the southern border are not immune to sudden weather shifts.
The “once-in-a-century” snowstorm in Texas can be best described as a shock to the Lone Star state’s system. The idea that Florida could experience a similar shock to the system cannot be discounted. Regardless, proper car maintenance to keep Floridians safe on sunny and stormy days is essential.
Tires play an important role in motor vehicle safety. Yet, they are often overlooked. Over time, tread wear reduces the traction. Making matters worse is poor wheel alignment that creates inconsistency in the amount of tread on each wheel that is necessary for safe travel.
Acceleration and braking
Lighter touches on the accelerator are important. “Putting the pedal to the metal” on wet roads impedes forward motion, even for drivers operating four-wheel-drive vehicles. Once moving, adapting speed to the environment is essential. Driving slower can prevent a catastrophic accident where tires lose grip, affecting acceleration, turns, and, most importantly, braking.
When a driver can effectively brake, the stop should allow for a certain amount of distance to provide extra room and reduce the possibility of a read-end accident. If a car is without antilock braking systems, drivers can put themselves and their passengers in danger of their brakes locking up.
Safe defensive driving
Working brakes and fully inflated tires and gas tanks are only as effective as the driver’s operation of a car. Keeping a safe distance from snowplows and other drivers is paramount when poor weather leaves roads in equally poor conditions.
Driving in stormy weather requires great care and fast decision-making. While you can’t control fellow drivers traveling dangerously, the right choices you make before and during travel can keep you and your loved ones safe when the weather outside, not to mention the traffic, is “frightful.”