950,000 car crashes are attributed to wet roads and rainy weather conditions every year, resulting in roughly 4,700 deaths and 384,000 injuries. In addition to slick roads, heavy rains can result in hydroplaning and flash floods.
Heavy rain affects your visibility and can make it difficult to identify potential hazards, so it is important to take it slow. Remember, generally you want to allow two seconds of follow time between you and the car in front of you when driving on a dry road – for wet roads, it is recommended you increase following distance to at least four seconds.
If you are expecting heavy rain, take a moment to clean your windshield and ensure your wipers are effective and in good condition. This is especially true if you are planning a long trip.
Finally, automatic light settings may not activate in bad weather conditions, so remember to make sure to turn on your lights if the weather dictates a need for extra visibility.
If you encounter standing water on the road surface, your car is at risk of hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when a wedge of water forms in front of your vehicle’s tire and the tread on the tire is unable to properly displace the water. The result is your vehicle being lifted off the road surface.
To recover from hydroplaning, you should gently let off your accelerator while maintaining a firm grip of the steering wheel, making an effort to avoid any sudden steering actions. The car will eventually regain its grip on the roadway once the water clears.
If you encounter potential flooding, the first thing you should ask yourself is whether you can take another route. If not, see how deep the water is – anything more than 6 inches deep is a hazard and should be avoided.
If you do decide to drive through standing water, drive slowly. Not only can driving fast through water increase your risk of crashing, driving fast can also cause water to enter your exhaust.
If ever in doubt, turn around.
Our attorneys are available to respond to auto accidents at any hour, day or night. Our lawyers understand that the immediate acquisition, or acquiring, of evidence is paramount to understanding how the accident occurred. Remember, your choice does matter. Contact our offices– we are available 24/7, nights and weekends.