Warmer weather has come around in Southeast Texas along with some wind and rain this week. As the temperatures warm, it is important to stay diligent on the road as driving conditions change. In looking back at Hurricane Harvey and the freezing temperatures we had in January, both of these events could affect the roads and cause unusual wear and tear. With floodwaters and freezing temperatures, we can expect to see more road construction than usual, as repairs could be needed.
Rain and the Road
News stations are predicting thunderstorms to continue through Sunday and even into next week. Rainy weather means the roads will be slick and road flooding is possible. Stay alert and leave extra room between you and other vehicles. It takes more time to stop when the road is slick and large vehicles may not be able to make corrections in time.
Also, make sure your windshield wipers are effective. Take the time and money to regularly replace your windshield wipers so you are not stuck out in the rain. If the rain is very bad, try avoiding driving in it and stay home if possible, until it passes. In addition, turn your headlights on if it is raining to allow other vehicles to see you more easily.
Road Wear and Tear
After the freeze we had in January, roads may be more damaged than usual. New potholes could form and cracks in the road may appear. Be aware of these changes and alert as you drive. If you see a pothole and can safety steer around it to avoid it then do. However, if you are in traffic or there are vehicles around you and you are unable to maneuver around it, slow down and release the brakes before hitting the pothole. Releasing the break allows the vehicle to absorb the impact.
Properly maintaining your vehicle is helpful in avoiding damage. Make sure your tires are inflated to the proper pressure and if your tires have excessive wear, consider replacing them for safety. When you are replacing your tired, have your suspension checked by a qualified professional.
You can also report a road problem or pothole to the Texas Department of Transportation at this website: http://www.txdot.gov/contact-us/form.html?form=Report_a_Pothole
Animals on the Road
As animals become more active in the spring, you may see more around roadways. Some animals are particularly active at dawn or dusk so be vigilant. Animals may be more active in rural communities and roadways near woods.
Always practice safe driving and focus on the road. Overall vehicle maintenance prepares you for the safest driving experience. If you and your vehicle are prepared, you will be more able to handle surprises on the road and unpleasant road conditions.
One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!