Inclement weather causes thousands of car accidents each year and rain is often the most common reason for serious traffic incidents. Driving in the rain is dangerous and can make even the most simple driving maneuvers difficult. Understanding what makes driving in the rain so dangerous is key to avoiding fatal accidents.
Why is Driving in the Rain So Dangerous?
Wet roads make your tires lose traction. When they lose their grip on the road, it is easy for the car to hydroplane, causing you to lose control of the car. When you add in decreased visibility, other drivers losing control, and drivers going too fast for road conditions, you have a recipe for an accident.
Rainstorms can hit without warning, leading to a sudden loss of visibility. One minute you’re driving down the road as normal and the next minute you can’t even see the car ahead of you. A light drizzle can quickly turn into a downpour, leading to a potentially dangerous situation.
Even if you take every precaution when driving in inclement weather, other drivers’ behavior can create dangerous situations on the roads. Many people simply won’t slow down, no matter how bad the weather is. They may tailgate, pressuring other drivers to drive faster than is safe.
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Tips for Driving in the Rain
Slow down. Even a small amount of rain can create dangerous road conditions. The roads are at their most dangerous in the first 30 minutes of a storm as the water mixes with the oils on the roads, so plan extra time in your trips if the weather is bad. While it is wise to drive more slowly in bad weather, understand that other drivers won’t necessarily heed this wisdom. Some drivers will insist on driving at or above the speed limit, even when the weather is at its worst. Avoid accidents by leaving extra time and steering clear of other drivers.
Use the Brakes Cautiously
When you are driving in wet road conditions, you will need to take extra caution when braking. Slamming on the brakes can cause the car to spin out of control, creating a deadly hydroplaning situation. This can cause you to slam into other cars or cause other cars to slam into yours. Increase your following distance in case you need to stop suddenly. The normal stopping distance is three seconds, increasing that to four to five seconds in rainy weather. Be sure to look farther ahead to see what other cars are doing.
Use Your Headlights
One of the biggest mistakes that drivers make is to forget to turn on their headlights in the rain. Headlights make your car visible to other cars and larger vehicles. Avoid using your high beams, however. This will only make the situation worse as the light will reflect off of the water, making it harder for you to see.
Avoid Large Puddles
Large puddles can be deceptive. They may look shallow, but when you drive into them, you may find that they are deeper than you thought. Deep puddles can be extremely dangerous, stalling your car and making it impossible for you to drive out. Deep puddles can wet your spark plugs, catalytic converter and damage your fuel system. Simply drive around puddles if possible.
While you make every effort to drive safely in the rain, other drivers may not be so conscientious. If you have been hurt in an accident and have searched for a “personal injury lawyer near me“, you have come to the right place. We are a team of injury attorneys who have decades of experience fighting for drivers who have been hurt in car accidents. Call us today for a free consultation.