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Bad weather adds to dangers of driving in Texas

Rain can put a damper on people's summer plans. Picnics and barbeques get cancelled; baseball games are delayed or called off; people end up spending camping trips trapped in tents. Rain can be more than just an irritating inconvenience, however. Bad weather can make it dangerous to travel on Texas roads and lead to motor vehicle accidents.

July 2013 has already seen several fatal auto accidents across the state, and authorities believe that weather was a contributing factor in some of them. A 19 year-old man died when he collided with a semi on U.S. 280. A 57 year-old man died on I85 when a driver skidded out of control when swerving to avoid people stopped on the side of the road who had been involved in a fender-bender. 

The heavy rains that can fall during Texas summers can make it difficult to drive. A driver's vision is limited by the precipitation, and drivers risk hydroplaning on water that has collected on roads. The water also makes the roads more slippery overall, even if they do not cause a driver to hydroplane, and people have more difficulty maneuvering their vehicles. People also need more time and distance to stop their cars in such conditions. 

It is unfortunate that some drivers do not modify their driving habits to suit the weather conditions, and they end up putting everyone else on the road at risk. They fail to increase their following distances and do not slow down -- and end up causing auto accidents. 

Drivers cannot control the weather, but they can control how they react to it. If everyone made an effort to be more mindful when driving in severe weather, the number of auto accidents would decrease. 

Source: WTVM.com, "The dangers of driving in bad weather," July 8, 2013

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