When Winter Comes to Florida: Road Conditions You Should Watch For
Florida is known for being the Sunshine State and with our routinely warm, sunny climate and lack of winter weather, it’s no wonder that people flock here annually to get away from the cold, wet, and even snowy conditions they face in their northern homes. However, Florida isn’t completely immune from winter weather, and when the colder temps come our way, many residents don’t know how to handle the change in weather. What’s more, the shift to winter conditions affect more than just your wardrobe and your outdoor activities. Our roads can be affected by the weather as well, so it’s important to be aware of what could happen when you hit the highway during our cold spells.
First, ice can and does happen in Florida, even though it’s a rarity. This is especially true when driving on elevated surfaces like the bridges in and around the Tampa Bay area. Because the cold temperatures are not only affecting the road surfaces but are also creating a draft underneath the road, the likelihood of any moisture freezing increases exponentially. If you aren’t expecting it, hitting a patch of ice while going highway speeds can be catastrophic. Even if the temperatures are technically “above freezing” when you leave home, if the cold lasted throughout the night, it can take a few hours for ice to warm up and melt. It’s best to be cautious and drive carefully and defensively if the weather has been on the cold side.
Additionally, cold usually brings wind and/or rain to Florida as well, thanks to the currents and weather patterns. While we are pretty accustomed to driving in rain, the wind can get gusty, and all it takes is one good push for your car to be pulled out of your control while going at a high rate of speed. If conditions are windy, you have to drive with the intent of maintaining control of your car. To protect yourself from collisions with other vehicles, try to stay in the far right lane, and be vigilant about the speed limit.
Finally, be prepared for other drivers. While you might be fine handling your vehicle in the varying conditions, other drivers might not be, and their problem can quickly become YOUR issue if they hit you or come into your lane. Staying on high alert and driving with awareness of your surroundings is vital when the weather changes and you’re on the road. If you notice another car swerving, traveling at an excessive speed, or driving recklessly for current conditions, get away! If possible, report the problem to local authorities, but at the very least, get your own vehicle away from the offender. Slow down to let them move ahead, move into a different lane to give yourself some space, or whatever else it takes to prevent any contact between you and other car.
Sessums Law Group, P.A. understands that accidents happen, but we also know how they can impact you and your life in a big way even if you aren’t at fault. That’s why WE STAND FOR YOU! We help you get the compensation you deserve when auto accidents come your way. Give us a call to discuss your case.