How does weather affect the ability to drive?
Imagine driving down the highway. Suddenly, there’s a cloud burst and rain falls. Immediately, you try to brake, but your vehicle starts to slide. Why? The oil and rain have mixed to make the road slick. In your attempt to slow, you swerve and barely miss someone in another lane. Fortunately, you drive away without a crash this time, but it shocked you into slowing down significantly.
Weather events have the potential to make the roads dangerous for everyone. Whether you drive a large vehicle or a small car, wet or icy roads and slick conditions pose a very real threat to your safety.
Combined with things like high wind speeds and curved roads, rain and snow become particularly hazardous. For instance, if you’re driving 40 miles per hour on a 60 mph road, you’re probably driving at a safe speed for the conditions. However, when it starts to rain, that’s necessary. If you were to speed up and hit a slick strip of the road, your vehicle could fishtail and end up sliding into another lane. You could lose control and end up in a collision.
After the rain ends and the weather begins to warm up, fog is a possibility. Fog limits your visibility and makes it so you can’t move as quickly as you’d like. You must slow down for fog, because failing to do so could mean you hit someone stopped ahead who you don’t see in time. Never use your bright lights in the fog, since the fog reflects the light back and makes it harder to see.
Weather conditions are potentially hazardous, and everyone needs to be careful. Truck drivers know the importance of slowing down, and if they don’t, they’re acting in a negligent manner.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, “How Do Weather Events Impact Roads?,” accessed Oct. 31, 2017