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Stormy Roads: Staying Safe in September in Houston

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When September rolls around in Houston, storms become a part of daily life. Navigating the roads during these storms can be tricky, and safety is a top priority. In this blog, we’ll explore some practical tips to help you stay safe while driving in stormy weather.

Houston’s September storms are no joke. They come with heavy rain, strong winds, and sometimes, unexpected surprises. Understanding the nature of these storms and being prepared is crucial to stay safe.

Risks and Challenges on the Road:

Driving during a storm is no walk in the park. Flooded roads, low visibility, and strong winds make it risky. It’s important to know what challenges you might face so you can be ready.

  1. Flooded Roads: One of the most significant risks during stormy weather in Houston is encountering flooded roads. Heavy rainfall can quickly lead to water accumulation on the streets, turning them into hazardous waterways. Driving through flooded areas poses the risk of losing control, causing engine damage, and even being swept away.
  2. Low Visibility: Storms often bring reduced visibility due to heavy rain and dark clouds. Limited visibility makes it challenging for drivers to see the road, other vehicles, and potential obstacles. This significantly increases the risk of accidents, especially when combined with other adverse weather conditions.
  3. Strong Winds: The presence of strong winds during storms adds an extra layer of risk to driving. Gusts of wind can impact the stability of vehicles, making it difficult for drivers to maintain control. High winds can also lead to the scattering of debris on the roads or even car accident, posing a threat to both drivers and pedestrians to obtain car accident injuries.
  4. Slippery Roads: Rainwater, combined with oil and other substances on the road, creates slippery surfaces. This increases the likelihood of skidding and loss of traction, making it challenging to maneuver the vehicle safely. Slippery roads demand careful driving and an increased following distance to prevent accidents.
  5. Dealing with Hydroplaning: Hydroplaning is a significant concern during storms, particularly on wet roads. When a vehicle loses contact with the road surface due to a layer of water, it can lead to a loss of control. Understanding how to respond to hydroplaning is crucial for drivers to avoid accidents and navigate safely through stormy conditions.
  6. Potential Road Hazards: Storms can bring unexpected road hazards such as fallen branches, debris, or even damaged infrastructure. Awareness of these potential obstacles is vital for drivers to react promptly and make informed decisions while on the road.
  7. Traffic Disruptions: Storms often lead to traffic disruptions, including road closures and delays. Knowing alternative routes and staying informed about road conditions can help drivers navigate efficiently and avoid getting stuck in unsafe situations.
  8. Risk of Flash Flooding: In Houston, where heavy rainfall is common during storms, there’s an increased risk of flash flooding. Sudden and intense rainfall can lead to rapid rises in water levels, catching drivers off guard. Understanding the signs of potential flash floods and avoiding areas prone to flooding is crucial for road safety.

Preparation Before Hitting the Road:

Check the weather forecast before you leave.

Being informed of impending events might improve your travel planning. Just in case, include a small emergency kit that includes snacks, water, a flashlight, and first aid supplies.

  1. Check the Weather Forecast: Start your journey by checking the latest weather forecast. Keep an eye on updates for the specific route you plan to take. Understanding the expected weather conditions helps you anticipate potential challenges on the road, allowing for better planning.
  2. Plan Your Trip Wisely: Armed with the weather forecast, plan your trip wisely. If adverse conditions are predicted on your usual route, consider alternative routes. Planning ahead enables you to make informed decisions and avoid unnecessary risks during your journey.
  3. Pack an Emergency Kit: As part of your pre-trip routine, assemble a compact emergency kit. This kit should include essentials to ensure your well-being in unexpected situations. Consider including:
  • Water: Stay hydrated, especially if you find yourself stranded.
  • Snacks: Non-perishable snacks can provide sustenance during delays.
  • Flashlight: A reliable flashlight is crucial in case of low visibility or nighttime travel.
  • First Aid Kit: Basic medical supplies can prove invaluable for minor injuries.
  • Blanket: Keep a blanket to stay warm during extended waits or emergencies.
  • Multipurpose Tool: A tool with various functions can be handy for minor repairs.
  1. Charge your devices: Make sure you fully charge your mobile phone and other electronic devices before hitting the road. A charged phone is essential for communication, navigation, and seeking assistance if needed.
  2. Inform Someone About Your Plans: Before leaving, let someone know about your travel plans, including your expected arrival time and route. In case of unforeseen circumstances, having someone aware of your itinerary can expedite assistance if necessary.
  3. Vehicle Check: Before embarking on your journey, conduct a quick check of your vehicle. Ensure that:
  • Tires: Tread depth and inflation are within safe limits.
  • Brakes: Confirm that brakes are responsive and in good condition.
  • Lights: Verify that all lights, including headlights and brake lights, are functional.
  • Windshield Wipers: Check wiper blades for effectiveness in adverse weather.
  • Fluid Levels: Ensure that essential fluids such as oil, coolant, and windshield washer fluid are at appropriate levels.
  1. Secure Loose Items: Stormy conditions can lead to turbulence on the road. Secure loose items in your vehicle to prevent them from becoming projectiles during sudden stops or turns.
  1. Dress Appropriately: Wear weather-appropriate clothing, especially if you anticipate spending time outside your vehicle. Sturdy shoes, a jacket, and other weather-resistant gear contribute to your comfort and safety.

Safe Driving Practices During Storms

When you’re on the road, slow down! It’s critical to keep a safe spacing between vehicles.

Avoid flooded areas, and if you can, choose alternative routes. Use your lights and signals wisely to communicate with other drivers.

  1. Reduce Speed:
  • Adapt to Conditions: When storms hit, slow down to match the road and weather conditions. Reduced speed enhances your control over the vehicle and provides more time to react to potential hazards.
  • Hydroplaning Prevention: Slower speeds help prevent hydroplaning, reducing the risk of losing traction on wet or flooded roads.
  1. Avoid Flooded Areas:
  • Never try to drive through flooded areas; instead, turn around to avoid drowning. Even seemingly shallow water can conceal dangers like washed-out roads or debris. Turning around and finding an alternative route is the safest approach.
  • Engine Protection: Driving through flooded areas poses a risk of water entering the engine, leading to damage. Avoiding flooded roads protects your vehicle and ensures your safety.
  1. Choose Alternative Routes:
  • Stay Informed: Be aware of potential road closures or high-risk areas due to flooding or other storm-related issues. Listen to traffic updates and choose alternative routes to avoid getting stuck in unsafe conditions.
  • Plan Ahead: Plan alternative routes before starting your journey, especially if the weather forecast predicts severe conditions. This proactive approach minimizes the chances of encountering roadblocks.
  1. Use Lights and Signals Effectively:
  • Headlights On: Turn on your headlights, even during daylight hours, to enhance visibility for yourself and other drivers. This is particularly important in heavy rain or low light conditions.
  • Brake Lights and Turn Signals: Use brake lights and turn signals judiciously to communicate your intentions to other drivers. Clear communication is essential for preventing misunderstandings and avoiding collisions.
  1. Stay In Your Lane:
  • Avoid Lane Changes in Poor Visibility: Stick to your lane, especially when visibility is low. Abrupt lane changes in stormy conditions can catch other drivers off guard and lead to accidents.
  • Use Lane Markings as Guides: Follow lane markings to maintain proper positioning on the road. These markings become crucial reference points in reduced visibility situations.
  1. Be Patient and Courteous:
  • Practice Patience: Stormy weather often leads to traffic congestion and delays. Practice patience and avoid aggressive driving behaviors, which can escalate risks for car accident cases and property damage.
  • Show Courtesy: Be considerate of other drivers on the road. Allow merging, give ample space, and be understanding of the challenges everyone faces in adverse weather conditions.


Maintaining Vehicle Safety

Take a moment to check your vehicle. Regular maintenance can make a big difference, especially during stormy weather.

  1. Check Tire Condition:
  • Tread Depth: Ensure that your tires have sufficient tread depth. Tires with adequate tread provide better traction on wet and slippery roads, reducing the risk of skidding or hydroplaning.
  • Inflation: Check tire pressure regularly, as under-inflated or over-inflated tires can affect handling and braking. Properly inflated tires contribute to overall vehicle stability.
  1. Brake Inspection:
  • Brake Pads: Examine the thickness of your brake pads. Worn brake pads can compromise braking efficiency, especially in wet conditions.If they are getting close to the end of their lives, replace them.


  • Brake Fluid: Ensure that your brake fluid is at the recommended level. Proper brake fluid levels are essential for responsive braking.
  1. Windshield Wiper Effectiveness:
  • Wiper Blades: Inspect the condition of your windshield wiper blades. Damaged or worn blades can hinder visibility during rainstorms. Replace them if they show signs of wear to maintain a clear field of vision.
  • Washer Fluid: Always have washer fluid in the reservoir for the windshield.A clean windshield is crucial for visibility, and the washer fluid helps remove dirt, bugs, and other debris.
  1. Lights and Indicators:
  • Headlights: Confirm that all headlights, including high and low beams, are functioning properly. Proper illumination is crucial for your visibility and for other drivers to see you.
  • Turn Signals and Brake Lights: Regularly check the functionality of turn signals and brake lights. Proper signaling ensures clear communication with other drivers, reducing the risk of collisions.
  1. Fluid Levels:
  • Engine Oil: Check engine oil levels regularly. Proper lubrication is vital for the smooth operation of the engine, especially during challenging weather conditions.
  • Coolant: Verify that the fluid’s level falls within the advised range. Proper engine cooling is essential, particularly during extended periods of idling or heavy traffic.
  1. Battery Health:
  • Voltage Check: Test the voltage of your vehicle’s battery. A fully charged and healthy battery is crucial, as stormy weather conditions can put additional strain on the electrical system.
  1. Inspect Belts and Hoses:
  • Belt Condition: Examine the condition of belts for wear or damage. Broken belts can lead to engine failure, especially during adverse weather when engine performance is critical.
  • Hose Inspection: Check hoses for leaks or signs of deterioration. Leaking hoses can lead to overheating or loss of essential fluids.
  1. Adequate Fuel Level:
  • Fuel Tank: Ensure your vehicle has an adequate amount of fuel for your journey. Storm-related traffic delays can consume more fuel than anticipated, and having enough fuel is crucial in case of diversions or longer travel times.
  1. Emergency Kit and Tools:
  • Carry Essentials: In addition to regular maintenance, keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include items like a spare tire, jack, jumper cables, and basic tools for minor repairs.
  • User Manual: Keep your vehicle’s user manual in the glove compartment. It provides valuable information on maintenance schedules and troubleshooting.
  1. Regular Maintenance Schedule:
  • Follow Manufacturer Recommendations: Adhere to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Regular maintenance not only ensures safety but also prolongs the life of your vehicle, making it more reliable during adverse weather conditions.


In Conclusion

Staying safe on the road during September storms in Houston is a multifaceted effort that involves individual responsibility, community support, and informed decision-making.

As storms approach, preparation becomes a critical element, encompassing an understanding of storm nature, diligent vehicle maintenance, and prioritizing safety on the road.

Vehicle Care Responsibility

Taking care of your vehicle, including well-maintained tires, brakes, and lights, is not just about convenience but a responsibility for your safety.

Iin the event of an accident, houston personal injury lawyer specializing in car accidents can play a crucial role in protecting your rights.

Call to Share Experiences

Share your tips and experiences for staying safe during storms in Houston, fostering community support and collectively enhancing our ability to navigate the challenges of September weather.

Legal Support After an Accident

In the unfortunate event of a car accident during a storm, legal professionals like houston car accident lawyer can provide guidance and representation, helping navigate insurance claims and ensuring fair compensation for your rights.

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