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Fatal Tractor-Trailer in Lake Worth a Reminder of the Risks

With slick roadways and an early-morning haze, a passenger vehicle lost control on Interstate 95 in Lake Worth and slammed into a tractor-trailer parked alongside the road. According to The Palm Beach Post, the driver of the tractor-trailer was on the side of the road checking on a previous accident. Upon collision, the 68-year-old passenger car driver from Boynton Beach was killed. According to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), the older driver was wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident, but it wasn’t enough to save his life.

Our Lake Worth accident lawyers understand that this accident happened during the early-morning hours in rainy weather conditions. Unfortunately, low-light conditions and weather can have a serious impact on our safety behind the wheel. Remember that speed limits are for optimal driving conditions. You are responsible for adjusting your driving speed to the current road and weather conditions. For example, if the weather is bad or there is a lot of traffic, it’s recommended that you drive slower than the posted speed. The safe speed is the one that allows you to have complete control of your vehicle.

Remember that in the state of Florida, it is law that you turn on your headlights during inclement weather. The safety consideration of driving with headlights on is nothing new. Motorcycles are required to have a headlight on all the time, even in clear daylight. In addition, a number of new cars and trucks are factory equipped with daytime running lights – low-beam headlights that automatically come on when the vehicle is started, day or night.

This case will be complicated by whether the tractor-trailer driver pulled far enough off the road. Those involved in causing the earlier accident may even share blame.

In poor weather conditions, many motorists are also quick to turn on their hazard lights. Remember that it is illegal to turn on your hazards unless you’re stalled or sitting on the side of the road. Hazard lights are only to be used when you’re stationary — not while driving through heavy rain. The FHP reports that if visibility is so bad that you cannot see, pull over in a parking lot, plaza or somewhere safe until conditions improve.

Safety Tips for Driving in the Rain:

-Slow down. It’s difficult to resist the temptation to speed, especially when you’re eager to get out of the rain. However, doing so is risky for you and others on the road.

-Turn on your headlights. It’s the law.

-Pull over if you can’t see.

-Keep your foot off the brake. If you’ve got to slow down, try to ease up on the accelerator.

-Try to stay in the middle lane. This is going to help you to avoid puddles that could wind up “pulling” your car in one direction.

-Keep your distance from other vehicles. You want to avoid water spray and you want plenty of time to react to stops and lane changes.

-Stay off the road if you can. Stop driving and wait for conditions to clear.

-Be extra careful when rain starts after a dry spell. This is when the oil and dirt buildup on the street can cause the roads to get very slippery. It’s like mixing water and oil.

-Try to avoid hydroplaning. Keep an eye on the condition of your tires at all times. In a rainstorm is no time to determine that your tires need to be replaced.

-Stay up to date with your windshield wiper blades. Test them regularly. You don’t want to get caught in a downpour with poor blades.

If you or someone you love was injured in an accident, contact Freeman Injury Law at 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

South Florida Ranks Poorly in Allstate’s “America’s Best Drivers Report”, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, September 12, 2013

Broward Traffic Safety Watch: Tired Drivers an Autumn Risk, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, September 5, 2013

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