Many tourists envision endless warm, sunny-weather days in Austin, but the reality is that inclement weather, animals, traffic, and construction projects often pose various hazards for drivers. There’s no way to eliminate these potential dangers entirely, but drivers can take precautions to minimize risk on the roads in Austin, Texas. Drivers can also apply these safety tips to most Texas driving conditions.
Driving Safely Through Austin’s Weather Hazards
Driving conditions in Austin vary throughout the year, which is why implementing these driving safety tips is crucial. While drivers can’t prevent all accidents, they can increase the chances that all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians make it to their destinations safely.
Driving in Sleet or Hail
Driving in sleet, hail, or other wintry weather can be incredibly dangerous.
Sleet may not always feel slippery to walk or operate a vehicle on, but that can quickly change. If possible, avoid driving in sleet. If you need to drive, drastically reduce your speed, give yourself ample time to make stops or turns, and remain calm if your vehicle starts to slide.
Austin has experienced its fair share of intense hail storms over the years. Again, avoid driving in hail if possible. If you’re on the road when hail starts falling, pull over and wait. Hail can break windshields and windows in some circumstances. If you can’t pull over, angle your car so the hail hits the windshield. The windows on the side and back of the vehicle are easier to break. Remain inside the vehicle the entire time
Beware of Icy Roads
Icy roads in Austin present distinctive challenges. Drivers don’t always see ice. If you suspect that ice may be on the road, put your vehicle in the highest possible gear, reduce your speed, and create large braking distances. Maintain a steady speed. Accelerating and decelerating can cause your tires to spin. If your vehicle starts to skid, remain calm and steer gently in the direction of the sliding. Make sure all your lights are on to alert other drivers of your vehicle’s position.
What to Do in a Flood
Driving in flooded areas can be extremely dangerous, and drivers can completely lose control of their vehicles. The safest option is to leave the car and move to higher ground. Cars can quickly be swept away. It only takes six inches of water at the bottom of many vehicles for the car to lose control and stall.
Windy Weather and Wind-Blown Hazards
When driving during a wind storm, be aware of larger vehicles like semi-trucks, buses, and vehicles towing cargo. Our Austin truck & bus accident attorneys know all too well how these higher profile vehicles are at a higher risk of tipping over in high winds. Keep a safe distance between vehicles to avoid unforeseen debris on the road. Turn on your headlights if dust or dirt kicks up.
Following a wind storm, be aware of potential debris or fallen trees on the roads. Again, providing space, staying alert, and looking out for road obstacles can help keep you and the drivers around you safe.
Other Austin, Texas Road Hazards
Avoid Animal Hazards
Encountering animals on roads in Austin can lead to serious injury and damage. Within Austin, the most common form of animal collision involves deer unexpectedly running into the road.
The early morning or late evening are the most common times when animal-vehicle collisions occur. Deer are attracted to wooded and partially rural areas with a water source. Motorists traveling at these times or in these types of environments should take extra precautions by staying alert and watching the side of the road for deer getting ready to cross.
Drive Safely in Austin Traffic
Traffic is a persistent issue within Austin city limits. The high number of vehicles from the events and draws to the city can result in minor and major car accidents.
According to Austin-based traffic reporters, the best things motorists can do while driving around Austin in traffic are:
- Consider alternatives or utilize a traffic app to find less congested areas.
- Understand the grid. Since Austin roadways follow a grid system, traffic will commonly congregate in certain commuter areas. Know these areas and look up alternatives.
- Follow driving safety tips like you would in inclement weather situations.
Stay Safe in Construction Areas
In addition to driving slowly and paying attention when traveling through construction areas, motorists should always move into the open lane. Check for vehicles in your blind spot before doing so, but move into an open lane as quickly as possible. Rear-end crashes are the most common form of accident in construction zones. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you at all times.
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident in Austin, Texas
The first thing drivers or passengers should do after a car accident is seek out appropriate medical treatment. Regardless of whether or not injuries are present, receiving a clean bill of health is important before resuming any activity. Medical attention is also vital for victims of car accidents as this effort may provide the context needed in subsequent insurance or legal claims.
After receiving the appropriate medical care, those who have been injured in a car accident may consider securing legal assistance. Navigating the insurance claims process can be difficult, especially for those unfamiliar with how it works. Each city has its own laws and stipulations, so seeking out an Austin-based firm can provide the necessary expertise and knowledge to handle the case.
Sandoval & James, our reputable firm based in Austin, has the necessary experience to take on these types of cases. We offer free consultations for those who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident. An experienced attorney will go over the case on an individual basis and determine what help or counsel may be available. At Sandoval & James, we ensure that all victims receive quality representation, care, and attention.