With temperatures soaring, summer is well and truly on the way and Queenslanders know all too well what that means – storm season!!
Although most of us love a good storm after a humid day, thunderstorms, lightning, heavy rain, wind and hail, can cause havoc on our roads and in turn, an increasing number of accidents.
Here are some helpful tips which may reduce the risk of accidents during a storm.
Don’t drive unless it’s absolutely necessary
If you can avoid driving in a storm, do so. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you find yourself on the road during a severe storm, try to take cover until the storm passes. An underground car park or under a bridge are good spots.
Avoid using cruise control
Whilst cruise control is typically a great feature when driving long distances, it’s not always such a good idea to use when driving around town or over short distances. Cruise control can cause drivers to remove their feet from the pedals, meaning slower reaction times and an increased likelihood of slamming on the brakes. During storms when the roads are wet and slippery, a quick reaction can mean the difference between an accident and a near miss, so cruise control should be avoided.
Headlights increase a vehicle’s visibility significantly during a storm, particularly vehicles which are easily camouflaged during heavy rain and fog, like silver and white vehicles. A good practice to adopt is if you turn on the windscreen wipers, turn the lights on as well.
During a heavy storm when visibility is reduced and roads are wet, it’s not always safe or practical to even travel at the speed limit. If you’re driving on a motorway with a 100 kph speed limit, and it’s difficult to see the vehicle in front through heavy rain, you should drastically reduce your speed to avoid colliding with other vehicles.
Be cautious of larger vehicles
Large vehicles like trucks or cars towing caravans need to be extra careful when driving during a storm. Strong winds can cause large vehicles to drift from side to side or cross over into another lane, which isn’t necessarily the fault of the driver. Large vehicles also require a longer braking distance to come to a stop, which can be much harder to judge during severe weather. Be mindful of large vehicles on the road, and give them extra space to help avoid an accident during bad weather.
Use common sense
Drive safely to suit the conditions. It’s better to get there late than never!