How Does Weather Affect Texas Road Conditions

Weather affects Texas road conditions for drivers trying to drive safely to their destinations. Severe weather like ice and snow, rain, wind, and fog can make it more difficult to drive. Car accidents can be a result of these poor driving conditions if drivers do not know how to handle these hazards.

Proper Vehicle Maintenance

The Texas Department of Insurance explains the proper steps to make sure your vehicle is prepared to be used in certain weather conditions.

  1. Windshield Wipers
    • Make sure your windshield wipers work properly.
    • They should work properly at all speeds.
    • Should wipe away a majority of rainfall
    • Recommended to be paired with a type of rain repellent for optimal use.
  2. Headlights and Tail Lights
    • Testing headlights before heading on the road is important day or night.
    • Check both the normal setting and the high beams for the headlights.
    • Taillights are essential to check because they will alert drivers behind you when you are braking.
  3. Tires
    • Tread of tires should be checked at least once every month as tire tread helps with gripping the road.
    • Tire pressure should be checked and maintained at the recommended PSI for your vehicle.
  4. Brakes
    • Vehicle brake pads should be monitored as well.

Texas road conditions weather

Different Weather Conditions

Texas experiences all types of weather conditions putting it in an interesting spot for drivers. Throughout the year, Texas weather can reach lows between 10 to 22 degrees and highs of about 100 degrees as reported in 2021 by WeatherSpark.

The Texas Department of Transportation provides specific driving tactics to avoid being involved in a vehicle accident in certain weather conditions. For all possible conditions, drivers should slow down, leave room in front of their vehicle, not follow close behind semi-trucks, avoid hard braking, and pull over if needed!

Rain

When driving through a rainstorm, drivers should make sure they have their headlights on to increase vision potential. It is safer for vehicles to drive in the middle lanes as well especially if the vehicle is closer to the ground. Water pooling is more likely to occur in the outermost lanes and the flooding can cause hydroplaning.

Hydroplaning happens when vehicle tires lose their grip on the road and slide on the road. This can be a jarring experience for drivers as it feels like losing complete control of the vehicle. When hydroplaning, drivers tend to slam on their brakes which will only worsen the situation. Drivers should let their vehicle slow down naturally and hold the steering wheel steady when experiencing this type of Texas road condition.

Fog

Fog can vary in thickness making it difficult to see. Fog typically happens during the early morning and during the night when the temperature is cooler. It is better to use the normal headlight setting instead of the high beams because it can make it harder to see.

Having your hazard lights on in times of thick fog will help other cars see your vehicle. It is safer to drive on the outer lanes to avoid switching lanes as much as possible. If you are driving on the highway, it would be safer to drive in the right lane so it is easier to take your exit.

Sleet, Snow, & Ice

Winter weather normally affects north Texas. Freezing temperatures in areas like Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth have seen lows of 5 to 20 degrees during the Valentine’s Day winter storm in 2021. Texans had never seen such a drastic winter storm since 1995-1996 when the temperature dropped below 20 degrees.

During times of severe winter weather, it is always recommended to stay home instead of venture outside. Vehicles and drivers can get stranded out on the road if the snowfall becomes too heavy and causes the road to fill with snow quickly. Tires without significant treading can get stuck in heavy snowfall.

Even though Texans had a winter storm warning, some drivers still had to make it out onto the roads for supplies. To safely drive through snow and on ice, you should have the proper winter equipment for your vehicle. According to Insider, you should always have:

  • A packable shovel and cat litter
    • This will help you get your vehicle unstuck from the snow
  • Snow and ice scraper
  • Jumper cables
  • A good spare tire
  • Road safety kit

While driving through freezing rain and sleet, the possibility of ice accumulating on the roads is very likely. Driving slower on the road will help avoid the potential of sliding or brake slamming and fishtailing. Black ice on roads is very difficult to see as it blends in with the pavement. When driving over bridges and overpasses it is advised to use extreme caution to avoid potentially higher threats of vehicle accidents.

Texas Road Conditions & Car Accidents

Our Texas car accident attorneys provide accident victims with free consultations to evaluate their cases. It is important for crash victims to be compensated for their damages and injuries. When car accidents happen during bad weather conditions, it can make identifying faults difficult for the drivers involved. Our car accident attorneys have the skills and knowledge to look at the police report and evidence provided and build a case to prove the at-fault driver is negligent.

About the Author

Michael Steinger
Michael Steinger

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MICHAEL S. STEINGER, founding partner of Steinger, Greene & Feiner, believes in representing real people, not big businesses. Since the firm’s creation in 1997, Steinger, Greene & Feiner has never represented an insurance company or large corporation, and he vows to keep this promise. Over the course of his career, Michael has handled thousands of Florida accident cases, recovering millions of dollars for his clients and earning him membership into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving laws protecting injury victims and their families, Michael is an active member of the American Bar Association, the Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Bar Associations, and sits on the Auto Insurance Committee of the Florida Justice Association.