Summer thunderstorms can hit quickly and intensely. They’re often accompanied by lightning, hail, winds and storm clouds that make even the sunniest day suddenly dark.
It’s best to avoid driving in them if possible, but we can’t always do that. If you find yourself on the road in a thunderstorm and can’t stop somewhere safe and wait it out, here are some important things to remember to help stay safe.
Make sure your headlights are on. This helps you see and be seen.
Slow down: Drive only at the speed that’s safe for conditions, no matter what the speed limit is. If everyone’s still going faster than you, stay in the far right lane. Keep plenty of room in between you and the driver ahead. You don’t want to have to stop suddenly on a rainy, slippery road.
Make sure all your windows are up. It’s easy to forget (or not realize) that a back window is open. Having your windows closed completely can reduce noise and protect you from lightning and flying debris. (You still need to watch out for debris, including tree branches and trash, on the road.)
Avoid driving over bridges. Kentucky has some beautiful old bridges. However, they can collapse in a heavy storm.
Minimize distractions. This isn’t the time to go searching for the latest episode of your favorite podcast or music channel. If you have to call or text someone to tell them you’re running late, pull over for a minute.
Taking all of these precautions can help you be prepared for whatever happens around you on the road. If you’re involved in a crash caused by another driver, remember that bad weather isn’t an excuse for reckless or negligent driving. Drivers need to adjust their behavior for the conditions. If a driver doesn’t do that and causes a crash, you have the right to hold them liable for your expenses and damages.