How To Drive Safely In Severe Wichita Falls and Lawton Weather

Our Law Firm Helps Injured Accident Victims Get The Money They Deserve

In the Wichita Falls and Lawton area, it seems like any type of bad weather can strike seemingly out of nowhere.

Cars stopping in bad weather

Around here we get tornadoes, heavy rain, snow, sleet, thick fog, wildfires, floods, wild thunderstorms, and other adverse weather conditions.

No time of the year is safe from the possibility of a serious weather event. At Hoover Rogers Law, LLP, we represent injured car, truck, and motorcycle accident victims. So, we see the terrible effects of bad weather-related accidents firsthand as we work side by side with our clients.

When severe weather strikes and you own the road, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of a crash. The following are some tips from the Oklahoma and Texas transportation departments.

Driving Tips For Adverse Conditions

In addition to basic safety measures like buckling your seatbelt, avoiding sudden stops or turns, and slowing down when visibility is low, if you run into seriously bad weather, often the best thing to do is get off the road and wait it out or otherwise get to somewhere safe. Here's what to do in some bad weather situations:

Flooding —Just two feet of moving water can carry away most cars and trucks. So, if you encounter high water, avoid it. If flooding is unavoidable, drive to the highest point possible. Never drive into the water.

If you hydroplane, step off the accelerator, turn in the direction of the skid, wait to feel the tires connect with the surface of the road, and brake gently as needed.

Thunderstorms —Heavy rain and wind during thunderstorms can reduce visibility and make roads slick. Do not drive blind. Slow down so that you can see upcoming hazards and have enough time to stop or maneuver around them. Increase the distance between you and the car in front so you have more room to brake. If lightning strikes, stay in your car where you are insulated against lighting. Stay away from power lines.

If you do not feel comfortable in your ability to drive safely in a bad thunderstorm, pull away from the road and put on your hazard lights until you are able to drive safely again.

Hail — Do not drive in hailstorms. Pull over to a safe spot, preferably with cover, so hail does not break your windshield or windows. Do not stop under an overpass. This is dangerous and increases accident risk. Stay inside your vehicle. Keep your car angled so the hail hits the front of the car where your windshield is reinforced and is more able to take the pelting. Keep your back to the windows. If you have a blanket, cover yourself in it to avoid cuts from hail-broken glass.

Wildfires — Never drive into heavy smoke. If the smoke is thick, the fire is near. Do not get stuck in your car; it provides no protection from heat. If you get caught in a fire, park near a solid structure, which will hopefully provide some protection from heat. Turn your air conditioner on to recirculate and leave the engine running. Position your vehicle to the best exit. Get down low to avoid smoke. Escape the vehicle after the main fire passes. Wildfires in high wind conditions may change direction frequently.

High winds and tornadoes — Do not take shelter under an overpass or bridge. The wind accelerates through these tunnel-like structures. Find shelter in a building if possible. If a building is not available, get out of your car and find the lowest level of shelter nearby. Even a ditch or a ravine would work as a last resort. Do not try to outrun the storm. Heavy winds may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Drive away from tornadoes at a 90-degree angle.

Snow and ice — If it’s snowing or icy out, stay home if possible. If you must travel, check the local news before you depart to learn about closed roads and accidents. Make sure you have plenty of fuel and notify a friend or family member of your planned route and expected time of arrival. Make sure to bring a well-charged cell phone or smartphone with you in case you need emergency assistance. Wear sunglasses to reduce glare.

Do not pass road clearing equipment. Drive slowly and remember that bridges and ramps are among the first roadway features to freeze over with black ice. If your vehicle slides, steer in the same direction you are sliding and take your foot off the gas and brake.

If you get stuck in the snow, turn on your flashers, call 911, and wait for help to arrive. Stay in your vehicle with the doors locked.

Fog — When fog is thick, reduce your speed and increase the following distance between you and the car in front. Use your low beams and avoid passing. If possible, get off the road.

Make An Emergency Car Kit

Every car should have an emergency bad weather car kit. Among the items the Oklahoma DOT recommends you put in it are:

  • Jumper cables
  • Clay-based litter or sand (to create traction on slippery surfaces)
  • Shovel
  • Blankets
  • High-energy, protein-rich foods
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Bottled water
  • Flares, triangles, or other distress warning equipment
  • Bright fabric to flag down help
  • Warm clothes
  • Ice scraper
  • Tire jack
  • Spare tire
  • Fix-a-flat

We help victims of weather-related accidents

Bad weather can come out of nowhere and cause serious injuries if you are on the road. Every motorist has a responsibility to drive safely for the conditions, and ultimately, you can only control your own actions. While you can’t sue Mother Nature for a weather-related wreck, you absolutely can take legal action against another motorist who failed to slow down or operate with appropriate caution and caused your accident.

Hoover Rogers Law helps accident victims in the Wichita Falls and Lawton area get the maximum compensation for their injuries. We understand that leaving money on the table could leave you paying for expensive accident-related medical treatments out of pocket. That’s why we negotiate aggressively on your behalf.

If you were injured, contact Hoover Rogers Law for a free case evaluation. A member of our legal team can explain how the law applies to your situation, the value of your claim, and your legal options.

Remember, in a weather-related case, evidence may disappear quickly, so we need to start our investigation as soon as possible. Don’t wait. We are ready to hear from you 24/7. Contact Hoover Rogers Law right now to schedule your free evaluation.

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