Poor weather is one of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents on roads and highways across the country and, among the various conditions one might encounter, rain is the primary contributor. In fact, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most weather-related crashes occur on wet pavement and when it rains, causing nearly 6,000 fatalities and 445,000 injuries every year. While drivers should take extra care and drive more cautiously during rainy weather, many do not.
How Does Rain Cause Accidents?
From driving recklessly to reduced visibility and traction, rainy weather can make any potentially dangerous situation even worse by creating hazardous conditions. Below are some of the ways in which rain causes serious motor vehicle accidents:
- Reduced traction caused by wet roads: Even roads that are in the best condition can become incredibly slippery during a rainstorm. This extra slick quality is caused by more than just rain. Oil build-up from vehicles that travel on the road is loosened when it rains, creating a greasy driving surface that is unexpectedly difficult for drivers to maneuver their vehicles on. This initial layer of water on the road can reduce tire traction and ultimately cause cars to slide. In colder weather, this can become an even greater danger since precipitation can fall as rain and turn to ice. Avoid these types of crashes by reducing your speed to increase your reaction time.
- Decreased visibility: Rainfall decreases visibility, which is another reason why accidents frequently occur during wet weather. If a vehicle’s windshield wipers are in need of replacement and cannot keep up with heavy rainfall, it can become nearly impossible to see. Additionally, inside the car, windows can become foggy, so it is crucial to have a functioning defogger that will keep things clear on the inside.
- Driving skills on wet roads: While the rain itself can create hazardous situations, the fact is that many drivers do not know how to drive in inclement weather and, as a result of their inadequate driving skills, accidents tend to happen. Even in areas where rainy weather is a frequent occurrence, timid and aggressive drivers are likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents as a result of their lack of understanding of how to navigate wet roads. On one hand, driving too slowly is a hazard for other vehicles and increases the chances of an accident occurring and, on the other hand, speeding or failing to exercise adequate caution can increase the likelihood of an accident as well. Driving safely in under these weather conditions will require smooth braking, steering, and maintaining a slower speed that is also on pace with other traffic.
Keep the following tips in mind while driving in the rain:
- Slow down whenever you are driving in the rain
- Turn on your headlights
- To effectively maintain good visibility, defog your windows
- Always keep enough distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you
- If you do not absolutely have to drive in the rain, wait for the weather to clear up
Personal Injury Attorneys in Houston
If you were recently injured in an accident caused by a negligent or careless driver, it is critical to secure skilled legal representation to obtain the compensation you need and deserve. At Lowenberg Law Firm, our Austin legal team is dedicated to providing compassionate support during this difficult time. We will do what it takes to obtain the best possible results.
For experienced and knowledgeable legal experience, contact our firm today at (832) 241-6000 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.