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SW Florida Storms Hazardous for Drivers

September 24, 2021 | Category: Automobile Accidents | Share

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) scientists predict that the chances of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season being conducive to an above-average number of hurricanes are 65 percent. “The latest outlook reflects that the number of expected named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater) is 15-21, including 7-10 hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), of which 3-5 could become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5 with winds 111 mph or greater).”

SW Florida Storms Prove Hazardous for Drivers - Spivey Law

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) reports that “Weather acts through visibility impairments, precipitation, high winds, and temperature extremes to affect driver capabilities, vehicle performance (i.e., traction, stability, and maneuverability), pavement friction, roadway infrastructure, crash risk, traffic flow, and agency productivity.” Following is a USDOT table summarizing the impacts of storm precipitation on roadways, traffic flow, and operational decisions. 


Table: Weather Impacts on Roads, Traffic and Operational Decisions

Road Weather Variables



Traffic Flow Impacts

Operational Impacts


(type, rate, start/end times)

Visibility distance

Pavement friction

Lane obstruction

Roadway capacity

Traffic speed

Travel time delay

Accident risk

Vehicle performance (e.g., traction)

Driver capabilities/behavior

Road treatment strategy

Traffic signal timing

Speed limit control

Evacuation decision support

Institutional coordination



Florida car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents increase in the summer. Roads become slick and make it difficult to slow down or stop. Many drivers do not know how to drive when precipitation makes Florida roads hazardous. They may be speeding, driving aggressively, and/or driving while distracted. 

Florida has specific laws covering driving in the rain under Statute §316.217. Every driver is required to have his or her lights on when it rains. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urges drivers to use extra caution when it is raining and offers the following suggestions:

  • Drive Slowly
    • It's harder to control or stop your vehicle on a slick road. Increase your following distance so you'll have plenty of time to stop for vehicles ahead of you. Also, remember that every vehicle handles differently; this is particularly true when driving on wet roads.
  • Turn Around Don’t Drown
    • People often underestimate the power of rushing water. It only takes 12 inches of rushing water to carry away most cars, and just two feet of rushing water can carry away most trucks and SUVs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the most common type of flood-related drowning occurs when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. When you see the road is flooded, or if there are barriers blocking the road, turn around.
  • Look Out for Pedestrians and Cyclists
    • Always be extra cautious in hard-to-see conditions, like nighttime or in bad weather.
  • Plan Your Travel and Route
    • Before you go make sure to check the road conditions and traffic. Check local stations for road closures and evacuation routes, if necessary.
  • Stock Your Vehicle
    • Put together an emergency roadside kit before you go. Inclement weather can develop quickly, so plan and prepare in advance. A charged cell phone tops the list of suggested items since it allows you to call for help when and where you need to.


"Should you or a loved one be injured in an accident because of the negligence of another driver, after seeking medical attention, please contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. We have the experienced Florida legal team to assist you 24/7. There are no costs or attorney fees until we receive a monetary recovery for you. For information on why you should select Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., please go to 10 Important Considerations When Selecting a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer,” said Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney Randall Spivey.


Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.






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