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How can weather affect the roads?

The weather conditions affect the roads every day. Whether it's foggy, dusty or raining, drivers have to know how to handle the weather to stay safe. If they're not confident in their abilities or are too confident, they could cause wrecks.

One thing that some people don't think about is the way the wind affects their drives. Wind can obstruct the lanes by blowing water, snow or dust onto them. It also affects travel times by limiting how fast you can drive and increases the risk of a crash due to moving out of the lane because of wind gusts.

Precipitation also causes a hazard on the roads. It limits visibility and makes the pavement slick, potentially leading to vehicles sliding in or out of their lanes. Lanes may also become obstructed because of large pools where water collects. In a downpour, trees and brush could have limbs or leaves that break loose and enter the highway as well.

After it rains, cools and begins to warm the next day, fog becomes a concern. Visibility is deeply affected by fog. You may not be able to see beyond your front headlights. It's important to pull over if you can't see; only use fog lights or low lights to avoid blinding yourself or other drivers with your high beams.

Weather events significantly impact your safety on the roads. Always check the weather before heading out. You need to understand how to handle your vehicle, so you don't cause a collision. Those who aren't familiar with driving in difficult conditions put others at risk and could end up causing serious collisions.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, "How Do Weather Events Impact Roads?," accessed March 30, 2018

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