Updated on: 11/12/2019
Because driving is by far the most common form of transportation for millions of Americans, it is virtually impossible to avoid driving in a variety of different types of weather. Although some people may do their best to not drive in inclement weather, such as rain or snow, weather is unpredictable and can catch a person off-guard, forcing them to drive in less than ideal conditions.
While accidents can occur at any time when a person is driving, whether due to another driver’s reckless actions, poor road conditions, malfunctioning car parts, or any other factor, the chances that a car accident is likely to occur increase substantially when inclement weather becomes a factor. In fact, rain and other types of inclement weather are usually cited as one of the top five causes of car accidents. Fortunately, although rain and other factors can increase the chances that a car accident will occur, there are certain steps you can take to minimize these risks, including the following:
- Drive more slowly! Especially when it first begins to rain, the roads become particularly slick, preventing your tires from being able to grip the road as well, giving you less traction, and making it easier to hydroplane. This is due to the oils from cars that have built up on the road combining with the water.
- Increase the distance between you and other cars. It is typically advised that a driver keep about two to three car lengths away from the car in front of them. When it is raining or there is other inclement weather, a driver should double that distance. This is due to the fact that it is harder and takes longer to stop when there is bad weather compared to when roads are dry.
- Do not drive in off-road areas or on roads where the depth of water is unknown and likely to be deeper than is safely drivable. These areas can have hidden road or ground conditions that may cause serious accidents, especially if you drive in an area where the water is too deep, causing you to lose control of your vehicle.
- Make yourself more visible by turning on your headlights and/or running lights.
Despite the many steps that you take to avoid a car accident, you cannot control the actions of others. However, you can make it as easy as possible for others to see you, potentially avoiding an accident from occurring.
In addition to taking these steps, you should make sure to continue to use safe driving tips that are applicable at all times, such as not eating and driving or using a cell phone while in the car. Unfortunately, not all people may act as responsibly as you, causing a devastating accident to occur and traumatic injuries to affect innocent motorists. In such a situation, a person may want to pursue legal action against the reckless driver, whether the accident occurred in inclement weather or otherwise, with the help of a personal injury lawyer.