Safety in summer storms similar to snow, says Trooper Ben

Safety during spring and summer storms is similar to that in any other negative weather situation, according to Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Gardner. First of all, if you don’t have to travel, don’t.

“Can you delay a little bit?” asked Gardner. “Can you maybe move that time of leaving? Just a half hour might make a big difference in those storms to move through the area or the roadway to get bladed or the fog can burn off a little bit. Those delays, sometimes by just 10 minutes can make a big difference.”

Make sure if you must drive, that you are in complete control of yourself and your vehicle.

“We’re always starting with wearing a seatbelt,” said Gardner. “We’re putting that on because we’re going to want that if something bad does start taking place. We’re also going to be slowing down, making sure we’ve got the wheels touching the roadway as best as they can. By slowing down, we’ve got those wheels really coming in good contact with the roadway, so that if you need to brake or maintain good control, if you’re starting to slide or do other things, you’re allowing that vehicle to do everything it can do for you.”

Speed limits are set under ideal driving conditions. Rainstorms are not ideal conditions, so you can be ticketed if you are going too fast for the roadway conditions.

“When we get into a metropolitan area where we’ve never traveled before, don’t we say sometimes, out loud, I need everybody to be quiet right now, because of the focus that you want,” said Gardner. “You do turn the radio off or down. You put away all your devices. You put away all these things and you say, all right, I’ve got to really focus. When there’s the bad weather and road conditions, we really need to do the same thing.”

It’s also important to keep your own emotions in check. If you know the road conditions are making you anxious, it’s best to get off of the roadway until you are calm and able to drive with full attention.