Rain has been the cause of thousands of car accidents year in and year out, and rain is especially dangerous in dry weather states like California. Our San Diego car accident attorneys know that some of the most heavily populated areas in California — San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange County — only have rain periodically during the year, and many people forget how to drive in it. Therefore, drivers need to understand exactly how rain can cause an automobile accident.
A Lot of Drivers Don’t Know How to Drive in the Rain
In bad weather conditions, there are two types of drivers who can significantly increase the risk to others: excessively timid drivers and reckless drivers.
Excessively timid drivers tend to overestimate the danger of weather conditions and drive at unreasonably low speeds. When the weather limits the number of available traffic lanes, such as can happen following heavy rain, this type of driver can cause traffic to back up, increasing the risk of a rear end accident.
Reckless drivers often ignore the consequences of bad weather and may even think it is a good thing that the weather has forced a lot of other drivers off of the road. Reckless drivers may well drive at full highway speed or greater, even when visibility is low or the roads are drenched. Even with four wheel drive (4WD), cars can still skid. When they lose control on a slippery road, their high speed makes it much more likely for a car accident to occur.
Rain Makes the Road Slippery
Rain can make it more difficult to stay on a roadway, to stop, or to avoid colliding with other vehicles. This is especially true when it first starts raining because roads are their most slippery at the beginning of a rainstorm. When the road first gets wet, oil rises to the surface and creates a greasy surface. If you can’t stop your car in time, that’s when accidents happen.
Rain Decreases Visibility
During rain storms, it can be difficult for drivers to see to see other cars. When rain is combined with dirty water kicked up from the road by other drivers, windshields can quickly become dirty. That is why it is always important to make sure that your car has functional windshield wipers.
Car Accident Prevention Tips For the Rain
1. Drive slower.
This is an obvious but important tip, as it allows for better reaction times. Rainwater causes grease and oil built up on the road to surface and tires traction suffers as a result. If you drive slower, your tire traction will improve and you will also have more time to brake.
2. Keep your eyes on the car ahead of you.
In the rain, it’s often hard to see very far ahead of you. On a clear sunny day, you can see the traffic situation a couple hundred feet down the road and react accordingly. On a rainy day, it helps to watch for the reaction of the driver ahead of you. When he brakes, you brake. Still keep a safe following distance from the car in front because you’ll need to brake more slowly on a slippery road to avoid skidding. So stay as far from the car in front of you as possible while also remaining close enough to keep it in clear sight.
3. Do not brake suddenly.
Sudden braking may cause a skid. Since the roads are slippery, stopping the wheels too quickly may cause them to lose all traction with the road, and an imminent car accident becomes a distinct possibility. In the case that skidding occurs, however, remain calm and do not make sudden turns because doing so may make the skidding even more dangerous. Just try to remain calm and steer straight until you feel the car regain traction.
4. Correctly defog your windows.
The windows on your car might fog, further limiting you visibility. You try to defog with the heater, but that will only further fog up your windows. To defog, keep your air conditioning blowing at both your windshield and your back window. If your car has a defog function, just press the button, and defogging should start automatically.
5. Avoid standing or flood water.
Most roads are built with the middle of the road higher than the sides, so try to stay near the middle of the road where it would be less likely to have a buildup of rainwater. No automobiles can drive through the ocean floor and have firm tire grip in deep water like the sport utility vehicles presented in commercials, so stay away from pools of water. If you do expect to go through standing water, lightly tap the brake pedal beforehand to dry the tire off a little.
Ideally, all rainy car accidents could be prevented if people stopped driving when it rains, but that is an unrealistic assumption. Everyone has things they must attend to, so just keep these tips in mind when driving in the rain. You can always pull over to the side and wait it out if you really think it’s raining too hard to drive. Nothing can make up for the loss of loved one in a fatal car accident, so always yield to safety.
Call Us Now to Maximize Your Auto Accident Settlement
If you’ve been injured in a car accident during the rain that you didn’t cause then call us now at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a FREE consultation with an experienced automobile accident attorney as to how we may help you.
Our San Diego law firm has almost two decades of experience, and we look forward to providing good advice so that you can make smart decisions about your case.