Inclement Weather Conditions
Driving in Severe Weather
Driving in severe weather conditions can significantly increase the potential for a dangerous situation. Sometimes the best decision drivers can make is to stay put until the storm passes. If driving is the only option, buckle up, and follow these rules to ensure safety:
TURN LIGHTS AND WIPERS ON. Florida law requires that if a vehicle’s wipers are in use, headlights must be on. To ensure high visibility, headlights should be clean and clear and wipers should be replaced at least once a year.
HAZARD LIGHTS OFF. Florida law prohibits driving with flashing hazard lights, except in funeral processions. Use hazard lights when the vehicle is legally stopped or disabled on the side of the road.
SLOW DOWN. Keep a safe stopping distance between vehicles and avoid passing and/or changing lanes. Wet pavement can result in skidding and hydroplaning. Be patient and stay alert. Use the right edge of the road or painted road markings as a guide.
TURN AROUND; DON’T DROWN. Never drive through flooded areas. The area of roadway beneath the water may be washed out or may conceal debris or even power lines.
BE CAUTIOUS OF HIGH WINDS. Windy conditions are a driving risk to all vehicles, particularly high profile vehicles such as buses and trucks. Use extra caution around vehicles carrying cargo. Strong wind can occur anywhere, but it can be more common in wide open spaces, including bridges and highway overpasses. Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and give large vehicles extra room to maneuver.
BE PREPARED FOR INOPERABLE TRAFFIC LIGHTS. Traffic lights are designed to keep traffic moving and prevent collisions; however, non-working or missing lights can be a source of confusion for drivers. If a law enforcement officer is present, follow their directions. Otherwise, treat the intersection as if it were a four-way stop sign. If traffic lights are flashing red, come to a complete stop and treat the intersection as a four-way stop. If lights are flashing yellow, proceed with caution and be prepared to yield to oncoming traffic.