Weather and weather-related fatalities usually only make the news when they concern a serious natural disaster such as a hurricane. But there may be another reason to keep an eye on the skies: according to experts, one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities is traffic accidents. In fact, the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reports that over 7000 people across the country die each year in car and traffic accidents caused by inclement weather. Most of these fatalities tend to be overlooked because they are not counted among the deaths caused by serious storms and most of these fatalities involve one or two-car accidents. Experts are now paying more attention, however, hoping to reduce the number of weather-related traffic fatalities in Miramar and other communities.
According to meteorologists and other experts, there a number of things that drivers can do to help prevent weather-related car crashes in Miramar and other communities:
1) Understand what conditions to look for. Many people understand that snow, ice, and water can mean slippery conditions, but a range of weather conditions – including whiteouts, fog, sunny days, wildfire smoke – can create potentially dangerous conditions. Any situation that interferes with visibility or makes the roads slippery can cause dangerous road conditions.
2) Be prepared for different weather conditions. Even a very sunny day with glare can lead to a car or truck accident in Miramar if you aren’t prepared for it. In your car, keep the tools you need to stay safe. This may mean sunglasses and a hat for sunny weather and extra windshield wiper fluid for days where visibility is a problem and you need your windshield to be as clean as possible for the best visibility.
3) Keep your car in good condition. Good brake systems, tires, and windshields ensure that your car is prepared for various weather. Take your car in for regular tune-ups to ensure that it drives safely. Consider getting all-season tires, even if you never plan on driving outside of Florida and don’t need to worry about ice and snow. Tires with good treads can really help in any wet or slipper road conditions and could potentially help you prevent a pedestrian accident in Miramar or your community.
4) Stay alert about weather conditions. Get into the habit of checking weather conditions before hopping in your car. Don’t head out when the weather is very bad and if you do need to drive in inclement weather, be prepared to give yourself extra time to get to your destination.
In the future, there may be new ways to help prevent weather-related car and truck accidents in Miramar and across the country. The U.S. Department of Transportation is funding new technology, the “Vehicle Data Translator,” which would gather and share up-to-date atmosphere and road conditions with drivers in real time, giving motorists the information they need to stay safer on the roads. The system would collect data from cars and from local weather stations as well as other sources in order to give drivers more information to prevent collisions.