How Weather Can Affect Road Conditions

tire tracks in snow

There is an old saying that states “Everybody talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” While we may not be able to change the weather we can and should have a better understanding about how certain weather events can affect road conditions so we are better prepared to stay safe while driving. Here are a few weather events that can affect road conditions more than you may think.


Most people don’t consider rain, unless there is a torrential downpour to have much affect on road and driving conditions. However, the simple fact is that rain even a light rain can affect road conditions to a great extent. For example, a light rain can dampen the roads, which when combined with the oil from vehicles can actually make the road slippery making it easier to lose control of your car. Rain can also decrease visibility making it more difficult to see obstacles in the road that could pose a risk to your safety.


Even if it is not currently snowing when you begin your travels, snow on the road can add glare making it more difficult to see clearly. In addition, snow can also make it more difficult to see the edge of the road and the center line and invisibility decreases when it actually snowing. Add wind to the equation and you can be faced with blizzard conditions that makes visibility impossible for more than few feet in front of you.

Falling Temperatures

Rain, hail, sleet, and melting snow followed by falling temperatures can result in ice forming on roads, bridges and over passes. While driving on ice always poses a danger to drivers, black ice (invisible ice) can catch a driver unaware and result in spin outs and loss of control of your vehicle since it will be unable to make contact with the road.

Fog- While fog doesn’t really affect the condition of the road itself, it does limit visibility for the driver making it difficult to see other vehicles and even animals on the roads increasing the risk of accidents.

High Winds

Even on sunny days high winds can affect road conditions by blowing snow and dirt across the road. In addition, high winds have been known to blow garbage cans, children’s toys, tree limbs and even whole trees into the road often right in front of an automobile.

If you are planning a road trip or a long business trip any time of the year knowing the weather conditions along your route can help you prepare for driving in certain weather and road conditions.

The Drive Weather App is a handy tool for keeping apprised of the weather and road conditions all along the route you are traveling. Not only can see when bad road conditions are likely to occur along your route, this app also has a slider that allows you change your departure times and see if the weather conditions improve.