Weather Impacts on Mobility

Bad weather conditions can have a massively negative influence on roadways and traffic situations. Lane submersion from flooding and snow accumulation can cause traffic back-ups, as well as road closures and access restrictions in certain areas. These conditions are seen as hazardous and accident causing. To understand how bad weather affects the effectiveness of traffic, take this for an example: Speed reductions can range from 10-25% on wet pavement and 30-40% with snowy or slushy pavement. Here are some other examples of how bad weather plays a role in effectiveness:

  • Light rain or snow can reduce average speed by 3-13%
  • Heavy ran can decrease average speed by 3-16%
  • Heavy snow can decline speeds by 5-40% percent
  • Low visibility can cause speed reductions of 10-12%
  • Light rain can decrease freeway capacity by 4-11%
  • Heavy ran can decrease freeway capacity by 10-30%
  • Light snow can decrease flow rates by 5-10%

Did you know that 23% of the non-recurrent delay on highways is due to snow, ice, and fog, which estimates to about 544 million vehicle-hours of delay each year? Rain leads to the greatest delay as opposed to things like snow, ice, and fog.

Various Issues You May Face
Consider the following: You have to pick your child up for school, but you look outside and see that there is a severe rain storm. It may look back, but there are some things to keep in mind to stay safe – which we will discuss later. For now, realize that you can face various issues when the roadways are not as clear as typical driving conditions call for. For instance, precipitation can cause motorists to make drastic road behavior changes by driving slower and increasing their following distance. You must also be aware of the fact that more snow on the roadways means less friction of the road surface.

Fog can lead to a reduction in visibility due to the fact that light is diffused by fog droplets. This can cause people to drive slower but keep a much shorter following distance to the vehicle in front of them. It can also cause decreased field of vision. All of these concepts working together can spell trouble.

Large gusts of wins can push relatively high vehicles off course. These winds can also cause vehicles to roll over in certain situations. Keep in mind that vehicles are not the only thing to worry about in a windstorm – no, objects are also carried by wind such as fallen trees, and broken-off branches. These things can cause traffic disturbances.

When ice forms, trouble begins on roadways. Open-structure surfaces such as asphalt will freeze more quickly than surfaces with a closed structure. Black ice could occur, which causes a thin layer of ice to form quickly on porous asphalt, causing asphalt to lose its friction. If snow lays on a road and turns to ice, there will be a greater risk of slipperiness. These are all things to keep in mind!

How To Avoid Issues in Mobility: Driving Tips
If you practice safe driving techniques through (not just winter weather!) but all weather conditions, you can increase your chances of less accidents and traffic delays. Take some tips to heart and stay safe this year.

  • Always plan ahead! Check the weather before you leave and consider postponing any trips. You may just cause yourself more stress heading out in bad weather conditions.
  • Remember to drive slowly. You should always drive more slowly in bad weather to decrease the chance of skids and accidents.
  • Don’t forget to leave room in front. Double the cushion between you and the car in front of you. Your brake time will be slower in conditions such as rain, snow, and sleet.
  • Make sure that all equipment is in working order. Always check your tires, breaks, and windshield wipers. Check your headlights to make sure that visibility is not lost in bad conditions. If you need to pull over and scrape ice or snow from a windshield, do so in a safe place.
  • Use low beams in fog! Turn on low beams in a foggy area whether you are driving through it at night or during the daytime. They will help you see and be seen by other drivers.
  • Pay attention to the radio. If you are listening to a radio station that can offer road condition information, you could become more aware of alternate routes and become aware of road closures. Make sure to keep it at a low volume.
  • Pull over if you feel the need. If the weather becomes particularly bad, find a safe place to pull off the road and wait it out. Make sure you do not pull off into a deep puddle or a snow bank.

It is important to take some important tips and stay safe during the winter months and all year around when weather conditions are bad. And remember: If you need legal help of any kind if an accident occurs, call MDL – we are an attorney you can trust to take on your case. We want you to stay safe and grasp a better understanding of the ways of the road.