Poor weather conditions can make roads dangerous, increasing the risk of catastrophic accidents. One type of weather condition that doesn't always get enough attention is high winds. High winds have the power to push large trucks off the road, make trees fall, and cause drivers of smaller vehicles to lose control, all of which can lead to serious or fatal auto accidents.
Those who have been injured in high wind auto accidents may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, lost wages, medical costs, and other damages. If you have been hurt in an auto accident, it is important to contact a knowledgeable attorney to ensure your rights are protected. Experienced in cases involving auto accidents and high winds, Orange County, CA auto accident attorney Sean M. Burke is ready to help you in your time of need.
The Hazards of High Winds
According to the National Hurricane Center, high winds are defined as winds that blow 40 miles per hour or greater for an hour or longer, or any duration of wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. High winds are powerful; so powerful that they can cause a driver to lose control of his or her car.
Besides impacting a driver's ability to control his or her vehicle, high winds can make the roads hazardous by causing trees, branches, and power lines to fall. When combined with heavy, high winds, this can pose a greater risk to drivers on the road.
Negligent Driving Can Be Deadly in High Wind Conditions
Driving in high winds can be dangerous, especially when drivers fail to modify how they drive to the conditions of the road and weather. Some ways in which a driver may be negligent when driving in high wind conditions includes:
- Driving too fast: Speeding reduces reaction time and makes it difficult to control a vehicle. Driving too fast in high wind conditions can make it even more difficult to control a vehicle, potentially leading to a serious car accident.
- Driving too close to large vehicles: Following trucks, vans, or other large vehicles too closely is particularly dangerous during high winds. Large vehicles have more surface area, making them vulnerable to being pushed around by high winds. When drivers are following too closely, they are more likely to be involved in an accident in the event the driver of a truck or other large vehicle loses control.
- Making sudden movements: High winds reduce friction, which can cause a driver to lose control if making sharp turns or suddenly braking. If rain is involved, as commonly seen in high wind storms, the roads will be even slicker, making it difficult for cars to maintain traction.
- Driving while distracted: Driving while distracted, for example playing with the radio, eating, or talking on a cell phone, is dangerous at any time, but when high winds are involved, it can be deadly. Driving in high winds requires complete focus as road conditions may quickly change.
Tips for Driving in High Winds
While the best way to stay safe during high winds is to stay off the roads, that's not always possible. If you must drive during high wind conditions, following these tips may help keep you safe:
- Drive slowly: Slowing down when driving in high winds can help with maintaining control of your vehicle as well as give you time to stop in the event the road is obstructed by tree branches or other debris.
- Don't follow too closely: Keep distance between yourself and other vehicles on the road, especially large vehicles.
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel: High winds can quickly push a vehicle off course. It is important to keep both hands on the steering wheel to maintain control.
Contact Auto Accident Attorney Sean M. Burke
If you have been injured in an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. To learn more about your legal options, you're encouraged to contact Burke Law to schedule a consultation.