As you may assume, the likelihood and occurrence of accidents increases during inclement weather. A big reason for this? People don’t seem to drive any more cautious when its raining, snowing, etc.
During rain storms, your sight is hindered, thus is your reaction time. It’s important to understand that rain causes your tires to lose traction and sometimes hydroplane. This act alone leads to many accidents. Head the do’ and don’ts below when driving during a storm.
- Avoid standing water: First, don’t try to drive through a flooded roadway. It might seem like fun to see if you can make it, but it only takes one foot of water to carry a way small car. Two feet can carry away most other vehicles. When you drive fast through standing water, you also risk hydroplaning, which could cause you to lose control of the vehicle and crash.
- Plan for a slower commute: Many people always feel the need to get to their destination as fast as possible, which leads to dangerous driving. Storms don’t slow down some drivers, either. Expect a slower commute and use cation on the road during a storm to avoid becoming a statistic.
- Use caution while braking: When the rain or snow is coming down hard, or during icy conditions, it takes longer for your tires to garb hold of the road; this increases your brake time. Also, the worse your tires and brake pads are, the longer it will take you to stop. In a downpour or if you drive through standing water, water could seep into your brake line, hindering or even stopping your braking power. Allow your vehicle up to four seconds to stop in a rain storm and even longer during ice conditions.
- Turn on your headlights: During a rain or snowstorm, even a sprinkle, turn on your headlights. Some people’s sight isn’t very good to begin with, so any action that allows your vehicle to be seen better should be adopted but avoid your brights unless you have no other choice or are one of the few drivers on the road. High-beam headlights hinder the sight of drivers coming toward you.
- Be extra cautious after the storm has subsided: The first couple hours after a downpour of rain, sleet or snow can be the most treacherous, as engine oil and other vehicle substances build up on the road and mix with the rain. This equals extra-slippery driving conditions.
Even if you follow all these tips, you still may get into an accident. It’s a fact of life that accidents happen. If you’re injured in one and feel you have a case, a personal injury attorney well-versed in car accidents would be a safe bet toward receiving the needed compensation you deserve.