When the visibility begins to decrease, dangers increase on the roadway. If you are operating a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania and there are low visibility conditions, you need to know the steps that you can take to keep yourself, your passengers, and others on the roadway safe.
Defensive Driving Techniques Are Important
As with any type of driving situation, individuals need to be ready with their best defensive driving skills when visibility becomes a problem. However, low visibility can occur due to a wide variety of causes:
- Heavy rain. When the rain starts falling, individuals need to lower their speed. Getting caught in a torrential downpour often requires individuals to pull over to the side of the road if this is safe to do. If you need to, find a parking lot to pull into and wait until the heavy part of the rain is done. Do not try to continue driving forward at the same speed when the rain makes it hard to see the vehicles around you.
- Fog. When a dense sheet of fog rolls in, drivers’ visibility will significantly decrease. The first step that individuals need to take is to turn on their headlights and their fog lights if they have them. Make sure that everything is in low beam and not high beams. Individuals need to reduce their speed when driving through fog and brake slowly and a little sooner than usual to give vehicles time behind them to slow down as well. Be on the lookout for other drivers without their lights on, as they will be much more difficult to see in heavy fog conditions.
- Ice or snow. It can be tough to drive around Pennsylvania when the winter weather sets in. It does not take much for the roadways to become icy, particularly if it rains during the day and freezes overnight. If individuals expect ice to be on the roadway, they need to maintain a slower speed going to and from their destinations. Drivers should be particularly mindful of black ice that blends in seamlessly with the road. If snow is falling, this can certainly cause a decrease in visibility, and the reflection of light off of the snow can make it hard to see. Again, individuals should slow down if they have to operate their vehicles in the snow.
- Sun and glare. Driving in the bright sun can make it very difficult to see, and just about every driver has experienced glare that decreases their visibility. In situations where the sun is sitting in just the right spot to reduce driver visibility, individuals should adjust their sun visor to where it blocks the sun from their eyes. Individuals should also consider getting a pair of regular or prescription sunglasses to use in the vehicle.
Overall, we strongly encourage individuals to avoid operating their vehicles on the roadway if they know there will be limited visibility conditions. However, individuals often do not have for warning about these hazardous conditions. Please consider pulling off the side of the road if your visibility becomes limited. If you are unable to do this, slow down and watch out for the vehicles around you. And if you are in an accident, reach out to a Philadelphia accident lawyer as soon as you are safe.