Now that the fall weather is nearly here, the leaves are beginning to change and the temperatures are slowly starting to drop. While it will likely be a few months before you have to worry about snowy or icy road conditions, rain can cause roads to become slippery. If you lose control of your vehicle in a rainstorm, this could cause a serious car accident. There are many dangers when it comes to driving in the rain.
One of the most common hazards associated with driving in the rain is hydroplaning. It is a common misconception that you are more likely to hydroplane during heavy rainfall. However, the first few minutes of a light rainstorm is actually the most dangerous. This is because the rain on the surface of the road mixes with the oil that spills onto the roadway during dry weather. When this happens, your car’s tires can lose traction, causing your vehicle to start hydroplaning. This can cause you to lose steering and braking capabilities.
In addition to hydroplaning, heavy rain can affect visibility, particularly if you are driving at night. While you may be tempted to use your high beams, the bright lights will reflect off the wet surfaces, which can make it difficult for oncoming motorists to see.
Rainwater also has a tendency to make roads more slippery. This is particularly true during the fall, when the leaves have started falling off the trees and onto the roads. If you slam the brakes while driving on a wet, leaf-covered road, this can be just as dangerous as if you hit a patch of ice. Generally, it is highly recommended that you use extra caution when driving during any type of inclement weather, including when it rains.
Ideally, you should avoid driving during inclement weather and wait until the rain has stopped before getting back on the road. However, that is not always possible, particularly if you need to get to work, take your children to school, or run important errands. By keeping the following safety tips in mind, you can reduce the risk of a serious weather-related car accident:
- Make sure that your vehicle is in good working order. Before driving in any type of inclement weather, make sure that your headlights and taillights are working properly. You should also make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition. In addition, it is very important that you check the tread on your tires. Balding tires have less traction on wet roads, so they are more likely to skid during wet, rainy weather.
- Reduce your speed in inclement weather. Slow down when you are driving in the rain. Even if it is not raining heavily, you should reduce your speed considerably. If you hit a patch of wet leaves, or start hydroplaning while driving at a high speed, this can cause a very serious accident. The faster you are driving, the less time you will have to react to a hazardous situation. You should always adjust your driving to the current road or weather conditions.
- Keep your headlights on. This allows other vehicles in the vicinity to see you. Even if it is not raining heavily, keeping your headlights on will help you visibility as well as other motorists on the road.
- Maintain a safe following distance. Put additional space between you and the car you are following. Stopping on a wet road can be more difficult, and it can be potentially dangerous if you start skidding or you lose control of your vehicle. Leave a distance of several car lengths between you and the other vehicles on the road.
- Avoid standing water. Hydroplaning is more likely to occur during a light rainstorm, but it can also occur when you drive through a large puddle of standing water. Avoid areas where water has accumulated. Do not make sudden lane changes to avoid a puddle. Slow down and make sure there are no cars approaching before changing lanes.
- Know what to do if you start hydroplaning. While hydroplaning is common, it can be extremely stressful if it happens to you. However, you can avoid losing control of your vehicle if you know what to do. Take your foot off the gas, avoid hitting the brakes, and steer into the direction that the front of the vehicle needs to go.
Who Is Responsible for a Rain-Related Car Accident?
All drivers have a responsibility to a duty of care to make the necessary driving adjustments during inclement weather. That means that if a driver is responsible for causing a car accident during rainy conditions, they cannot simply blame the accident on the weather. For instance, if the driver was speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes, or engaging in any other type of unsafe driving behaviors in inclement weather, they can be liable for the accident.
If you have been injured in a weather-related car accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. It is highly recommended that you contact a car accident lawyer who has extensive experience representing clients who have been injured in similar weather-related car accidents.
Towson Car Accident Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Will Protect Your Rights After a Rain-Related Car Accident
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident that occurred when it was raining, it is in your best interest to contact one of our Towson car accident lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC at your earliest convenience. We will conduct a thorough investigation to determine who is at fault for the accident. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online. We are located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, and we proudly serve clients in Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.