As hurricane season is set to begin June 1st, Texans across the state, especially Houstonians, should be well aware of the potential dangers that can occur as a result of a strong storm, tropical storm, or hurricane.
From thunderstorms to hail storms and tornadoes, unpredictable weather patterns can dramatically impact our communities and are bound to cause severe car accidents on our roadways.
The Houston personal injury lawyers of Lapeze and Johns are here to give you an overview of some shocking weather-related car accident statistics along with a brief guide on how to best prepare yourself in the event of severe weather this season.
Weather-Related Car Accidents By the Numbers
According to a research study conducted by the United States Department of Transportation, it was concluded that between 2007-2016:
- There was an average of 5.8 million car accidents annually across the U.S.
- 21% of those car accidents occurred as a direct cause of hazardous weather conditions.
- There was an annual average of 5,376 fatalities as a result of driving in dangerous weather conditions.
In a separate study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it was determined that driving in rainy weather is more dangerous than driving in the snow. It was also reported that:
- 73% of all weather-related car accidents occurred on wet pavement.
- 46% of these types of accidents occurred when rain was involved.
Tips for Driving in Hazardous Conditions
If you truly need to be on the roads during hazardous weather conditions, it is important to take the following precautions:
- Drive slow: In order to have better control of your vehicle, driving slower than usual can help to improve your reaction time if an unexpected event should take place.
- Use windshield wipers and defog your windows: One of the biggest reasons why car accidents occur is simply due to the fact that the driver might not be able to have a clear view of the road. The best (and simplest) thing one can do in this situation is to properly use your windshield wipers, while also using your defogger, to have the clearest view possible.
- Stay aware of your surroundings: Regardless of weather conditions, the rule of thumb when operating any motorized-vehicle is to be fully aware of the drivers around you. In severe weather conditions, you should be more focused as negligent drivers or turbulence can happen unexpectedly.
- Avoid sudden braking: Since vehicles do not readily stop as easily when traveling on slippery roads, it is crucial to time accordingly when having to brake to avoid hydroplaning.
How to Prepare for a Hurricane
The Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has developed an essential checklist of necessities to have at home in the case of a severe storm or flood:
- Full tank of gasoline inside your vehicle
- Charged electronics
- Drivers license and/or personal ID
- Important insurance, vehicle and household documentation
- Gallons of water
- Non-perishable foods or foods that don’t require refrigeration or cooking
- Plastic dishware
- Can openers
- Dry clothes and closed-toed shoes
- Essential toiletries
- Hand sanitizer
And if the worst-case scenario were to happen, the following should be done after the storm has cleared:
- Wear protective gear when cleaning up the household.
- Avoid walking through floodwater.
- Take photographs of all damages that occurred and/or any injuries inflicted on a family member for insurance purposes.
- Contact loved ones to check up on their current status and well-being.
Houston Car Accident Attorneys Ready to Serve Justice
While most of us should seek shelter during severe weather conditions, there are those individuals who do not have that benefit. Tragically, there are instances where, despite the circumstances, innocent victims suffer due to a reckless driver acting negligently during a storm.
The Houston personal injury lawyers of Lapeze and Johns are here to serve those victims who have suffered a serious injury or lost a loved one as a result of another person’s irresponsible driving. We will help you to secure proper financial compensation in order to help you recover physically and emotionally.