How to stay safe when driving through thunderstorms

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2023 | Car Accidents |

One moment you are driving along in bright sunshine on a dry road, the next the sky breaks, and the road is covered in water.

Summer thunderstorms can make driving much more dangerous during and after the storm.

Sometimes it’s best to pull over and let the storm pass

When rain falls with enough intensity, it can make driving incredibly dangerous because you and other drivers cannot see much outside your window beyond the raindrops anymore.

The first bit of rain, especially after a dry spell, can release all the oils that have accumulated on the road surface, making it far more slippery than a few moments before.

Sometimes, it’s best to give up any hope of progress until the storm passes and find a safe place to pull over and wait it out.

Standing water can be a problem for some time afterward

Not all streets drain as well as they should. Drains can become blocked or perhaps the surface is potholed or collects runoff from upslope. Standing water brings the risk of hydroplaning. 

When a patch of water is deep enough (and it really doesn’t need to be deep at all) you can lose traction with the road surface momentarily as the water fills the channels in your tires. That can cause you to veer across the lane and perhaps into the path of oncoming traffic or off the road.

Slowing down before you get to the water reduces the chance this happens and slowing down as soon as heavy rain starts to fall is a good idea in the first place. Unfortunately, some drivers will plow on regardless, without making allowances. If one of them injures you, you’ll need to understand your legal options.