Experts predicted a particularly powerful El Niño this year, and severe weather has been seen all over the country. This El Niño, the strongest since the late nineties, brought increased precipitation in many areas, as well as sudden shifts in weather patterns that caused a variety of major issues for homeowners, travelers, and truckers.
Though the majority of the weather effects were felt in California and the West Coast, there are far-reaching implications of the impending weather changes, including:
- Increased potential for rapid snow melts in the northern parts of the country, with the likelihood of flooding and difficult road conditions
- Flooding in the Gulf States and California, washing away roads and making travel extremely dangerous, as well as causing significant damage to homes and businesses
- Damage to crop yields all over the country, making farm work more dangerous as farmers struggle to increase yields
- Erratic weather patterns in the Northeast
Many of the effects of El Niño are associated with making travel more dangerous. People are advised to track weather more closely and more often, including monitoring any storm systems on an hourly basis as travel times approach. Truck drivers in particular should pay close attention to shifting weather, as being blindsided by a storm while on a long stretch of highway can be particularly dangerous.
Even with these precautions, sudden changes in weather systems are a hallmark of El Niño, and can occur at any time. If you are on the road and the weather changes rapidly, having backup plans for places to stay or safe places to pull off the road until the storm passes is advised.
Weather is a major danger when driving, but it isn’t the weather itself that is likely to cause accidents. It is the dangerous behavior of other drivers who do not take the difficult conditions into account. If you have been injured due to unsafe driving by another, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney who can help you make your case.