Although Nevada doesn’t have to deal with the harsh winter conditions that the northern part of the country contends with, bad weather still does happen in the state, and it can impact your safety on the roads. High winds, rain, storms and other bad weather can affect visibility and your ability to control your car.
Knowing what to do when bad weather hits can help you avoid car accidents and help keep you and your family safer.
High Wind Driving Tips
Safe driving in high wind means being prepared for sudden gusts of wind and dealing with poor visibility and instructions. When driving in high wind, the main thing to keep in mind is conditions can change in seconds. To stay safe, follow these tips:
Know the Dangers of High-Profile Vehicles
High-profile vehicles are taller vehicles such as trailers, trucks, campers and vans. These vehicles are in danger in high-wind areas, especially along more dangerous areas, such as the U.S. 395/Washoe-Pleasant Valley and the Hoover Dam bypass bridge. These two areas have wind warnings, and drivers must obey the posted signs if they are driving high-profile vehicles. Even on regular roads, however, it pays to leave extra space between you and high-profile vehicles. In the event of high winds, these vehicles are more likely to flip over or to lose control.
Be Aware of Visibility Issues
Blowing sand, dust and debris can obscure your vision and make it harder to see in high wind. Be prepared to pull over or use your wipers to see clearly.
Avoid Downed Power Lines and Tree Branches
Obstacles may fall directly in your path during high winds. Avoid downed power lines, which may still be live and will carry a high risk. Going near them can lead to electrocution and serious injuries. Steer clear and call authorities if you notice fallen power lines or considerable obstructions on the road.
Be Prepared for Sudden Gusts of Wind
If you’re driving along a fairly protected area, such as in between trees or tall buildings, you may notice a sudden gust of wind if you enter an unprotected area, such as a bridge or a road adjacent to an open field. Be prepared to make adjustments to correct your driving if the wind pushes on your car.
Tips for Driving in Rain
Rain can make road conditions slick and in some cases can cause flooding. Safe driving in the rain is often about reducing speed and keeping good visibility. Here’s how you can stay safe driving in bad weather:
Even if you think the rain is not too bad, speeding along a wet highway can be dangerous. Rain mixed with any oil or gasoline spilled on the road can produce slick surfaces that can cause you to lose control of your car. The posted speed limits you see are based on ideal weather conditions. They don’t reflect how quickly you should be driving in bad weather.
Avoid flooded areas.
Never attempt to cross a flooded or waterlogged area. It can affect your brakes, and your tires may not be able to grip the road correctly, meaning you will not be able to control your car.
Use your car’s safety systems.
By law, you must use wipers when driving in the rain in Nevada. You can also turn off cruise control to diminish your risk of hydroplaning or losing control of your vehicle.
Keep visibility strong.
Make sure your windshield is as clear as possible. Keep your headlights on in poor weather to ensure other drivers can see you.
Listen to weather reports and be prepared to pull over.
If news reports tell you not to go outside because of severe rain or extreme weather, listen. If you absolutely must go somewhere, give yourself extra time and drive slowly and carefully. If you find yourself driving in rain and cannot see in front of you, pull over and wait until the system passes.
Stay Safe No Matter What Weather You’re Driving In
If you would like to read more tips about driving in bad weather and more safety tips, visit the Dallas Horton & Associates blog to read our up-to-date information. As attorneys in the Nevada area, we’re always pleased to pass on information designed to keep you safe.