Many Florida residents think that they escape some of the worst weather-related risks of driving. After all, Florida residents don’t have to worry about blizzard conditions, winter driving, or ice most winters. Despite that, statistics show Florida drivers are in fact at risk of one of the most dangerous weather conditions out there: rain.
That’s right: while many of us think of extreme weather conditions as causing the most weather-related accidents, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) has identified rain as one of the most dangerous weather conditions out there. According to their statistics, 23% of the estimated 5,870,000 vehicle accidents that take place in this country each year are weather-related. Of these weather-related crashes, 74% occur on wet pavement and 46% happen during a rain. Both winter-related and fog-related weather cause fewer crashes.
The Dangers of Rainfall
Rain can affect your chances of being in a car accident in three major ways:
1) By reducing visibility.
Rain coming down can affect visibility and can make your windshields smear, making it harder to see what’s in front of you.
2) By reducing traction.
Tires may not grip the road as well in the rain, meaning it takes you longer to stop fully.
3) By creating different driver (and pedestrian) reactions.
Some drivers may overcompensate for the weather, slowing down to such a degree that they slow down traffic and increase the risk of a rear-end accident. Other drivers don’t adjust for the weather in Hollywood at all, driving at regular speeds and potentially causing a crash.
Pedestrians, too, may change their behaviors in a rain, putting them at risk of pedestrian accidents in Hollywood and other communities. Pedestrians may be wearing hoods or carrying umbrellas that reduce their visibility. They may also be running out the rain and not looking where they are going, which can cause a crash.
Ways to Stay Safe When Driving in the Rain
1) Take good care of your car.
Good treads on your tires can help your car brake correctly, even in the rain. Taking care of your brakes and other systems can also help your car operate correctly. Good windshield wipers and plenty of windshield fluid can keep your windshield clear, even in bad weather.
2) Slow down in wet weather.
No matter how well maintained your car is, you still need to adjust your speed when the pavements are wet. Avoid slowing down so much that you cause a rear-end crash, but slow down enough to give yourself more space between you and the car in front of you.
3) Do everything possible to keep visibility good.
Use your lights and windshield wipers so you can see clearly. If visibility decreases until you can’t see in front of you, avoid driving.
4) Be prepared for the unexpected.
A lot can happen during the rain and especially in heavy rain; tree branches may fall on the road, wind may pick up, or the rain may get very heavy at times. Put away all distractions and be ready to react quickly.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free case evaluation to find out whether you have a claim. The claims process and insurance process after a car accident can be complex; let our law firm offer our support as you start the healing process.