Storms can be dangerous because they can cause weather conditions that make driving dangerous. During a storm, all the usual causes of car accidents—drunk driving, distraction, human error—still apply, but in addition to these, there are other factors that can contribute to the risk of a car accident:
- Rain. Rain is actually the most dangerous weather-related condition leading to car accidents across the country. Each year, it causes more crashes than snow and ice. This is in part because rain is more common. Drivers don’t hesitate to drive in wet weather, and many do not adjust their driving for the conditions. Rain can make surfaces slippery and can cause hydroplaning and loss of control.
- Flooding. As soon as there are a few inches of rain accumulating—to the point where you can’t clearly see the road—it’s not safe to drive. You may think your car can handle what looks like shallow water, but if you cannot see the road clearly the water can be deeper than you think. It can affect your brakes. And even a few inches of rain can be surprisingly powerful—enough to make you lose control of your car. You can even be swept away.
- Strong winds. Winds can push on your car and make it hard to control your vehicle, especially on open stretches of roads and on bridges. In extreme wind conditions, the force can be significant enough to tip SUVs and vans over or to push cars off the road.
- Poor visibility. Once your wipers can’t keep up with the rain, you can’t see what’s in front of you. Visibility can be made worse by debris flying around you, making it hard for you to avoid hazards on the road.
- New obstacles. A serious storm can topple trees or push large objects into your path. These may appear suddenly, causing you to swerve, or can block you in, so you can’t easily drive to safety.
- Falling power lines. Falling power lines pose an electrocution risk, especially when they fall into water. If the storm is so bad that power lines are on the ground, get to safety and call the local power company to report the downed lines. In this type of weather, it is best to be inside.
- Road damage. Damage to the road can happen suddenly in storms. Cracks may form in the pavements, parts of bridges and roadways can collapse, and large potholes or even sinkholes can form.
Post-storm driving can also be dangerous. If your car has been even partly submerged in water, it may no longer work reliably. Always get your car checked out before driving it if you suspect there has been any damage to your vehicle. Before heading out, listen for any weather-related or traffic-related reports. If you’re being asked to stay off the roads, don’t drive.
While no Floridian can do anything about Florida weather, drivers are expected to adjust their driving. If a driver drives recklessly and causes an accident that injures you, you may have a claim and may be able to seek financial recovery for your car damage, medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.
To find out if you have a claim after a car accident, call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 to set up a free consultation. You can always speak to a live person 24/7 when you call us. Our phones are even staffed during severe weather events. You can also contact us online to set up your free consultation.