Tips for Driving in Arkansas During Spring & Severe Weather Conditions

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Welcome to Arkansas, where the weather keeps you guessing! Whether you’re a longtime local or a recent transplant to the Natural State, you’ve likely experienced our ever-changing weather. They say, “If you don’t like the weather in Arkansas, just wait five minutes.” It’s true! You might wake up to a sunny 90-degree morning, only to find yourself facing sleet and snow by dinnertime due to a sudden cold front.

Arkansas weather can be unpredictable, and sometimes, it can catch you off guard. Being prepared is key to staying safe, especially if you’re driving during the spring when storms can roll in unexpectedly. Make sure you’re road-ready by checking the forecast and dressing accordingly. 

At Denton, Zachary, and Norwood PLLC Law Firm, we know it’s essential to prepare your vehicle and yourself for whatever Mother Nature throws your way. Our main goal is to help prevent you from being in an accident with another car or a semi-truck. Let’s take a look at some helpful tips to keep you safe on the road this spring when and if severe weather hits. 

The first thing you want to do is make sure your windshield wipers are in good working condition to handle heavy rains. Next, pack essentials like an umbrella, rain jacket, or boots in case of flash flooding. Being proactive can make all the difference in staying safe on the road. 

Arkansas is no stranger to flash flooding, and it can happen unexpectedly. As the National Weather Service advises, “Turn around, don’t drown.” Flash floods can occur within hours when rainfall exceeds the ground’s ability to absorb it or for waterways to carry it away. This overflow can quickly flood roads, especially near small streams and creeks. Always stay vigilant and ready to find higher ground if needed during heavy rainfall.’s 3 Simple Steps for Flash Flood Safety:

  1. GET TO HIGHER GROUND. Get out of the areas subject to flooding.
  2. DO NOT DRIVE INTO WATER. Do NOT drive or walk into flooded areas. It only takes 6 feet of water to knock you off your feet.
  3. STAY INFORMED. Monitor local radar, television, weather radio, internet or social media for updates.

Aside from flash flooding, tornado season brings another level of unpredictability, especially when you’re behind the wheel. Last year, tornadoes struck areas like Little Rock and Wynne, reminding drivers of the importance of knowing what to do if they encounter severe weather while driving.

It’s crucial to know what to do if you find yourself driving during a severe thunderstorm or tornado. Ideally, avoid driving altogether if there’s a severe weather threat, tornado watch, or warning. Taking shelter and exercising caution is the safest course of action. However, if you’re already on the road and encounter a storm, there are precautions you can take to maximize safety. The Weather Channel has provided the following recommendations to stay safe while driving during a tornado. 

Despite common misconceptions, seeking shelter under bridges or overpasses during severe weather is not advisable. This can create hazardous traffic conditions and provide minimal protection against flying debris. If you spot a tornado in the distance, driving away from the storm’s path is the best option if safe to do so. Once clear, seek refuge in a sturdy building like a bank or fast-food restaurant.

If you find yourself unable to escape the storm’s path, avoid attempting to outrun the tornado. Instead, swiftly and safely park your car, preferably away from traffic lanes. Stay inside with your seat belt fastened, lowering your head below the windows. Cover your head with your hands, a blanket, or any available item to shield against debris. If a lower area is accessible and safe, exit the vehicle and lie down, ensuring to cover your head with your hands for added protection.

Helpful Reminders to Stay Safe & Calm Driving During Severe Weather

Stay Informed: Monitor weather forecasts, especially if severe weather is expected. Plan your trips accordingly, and avoid driving during severe weather if possible.

Check Your Vehicle: Before hitting the road, make sure your vehicle is in good condition. Check your tires, brakes, lights, and windshield wipers to ensure they are working properly.

Slow Down: Reduce your speed when driving in wet or slippery conditions. This will give you more time to react to any hazards on the road.

Increase Following Distance: Leave extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you, especially during rain or hail storms. This will give you more time to stop if needed.

Avoid Cruise Control: In slippery conditions, it’s best to avoid using cruise control. You’ll have more control over your vehicle if you need to quickly react to changing road conditions.

Use Headlights: Turn on your headlights, even during the day, to increase your visibility to other drivers.

Be Prepared: Keep an emergency kit in your car with items like a flashlight, blankets, water, and non-perishable snacks. If you do get stranded, you’ll be prepared until help arrives.

Stay Calm: If you encounter severe weather while driving, stay calm and focused. Avoid sudden movements and try to safely navigate to the nearest exit or pull-off area if necessary.

Contact Us

Remember, prioritizing safety is crucial when driving in severe weather conditions. At Denton, Zachary, and Norwood PLLC Law Firm, we’re committed to protecting you from road accidents involving both cars and semi-trucks. If you’re involved in an accident and require assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us as soon as you can. We’re here to offer the support and guidance you need at any of our convenient locations in Little Rock, Conway, or Cordova.

Safety always comes first, so stay alert for all drivers, especially large semi-trucks, as you travel the roads this spring. If you have any questions or need immediate assistance, feel free to contact us today!

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