Wet roads and rainy weather conditions contribute to about 1.2 million auto accidents annually. While we may finally be passed the heavy snowfall that winter brings, it’s important to recognize that rain, whether it be heavy rainfall or a light drizzle, can pose significant threats to drivers. From hydroplaning to limited vision, proper safety precautions are crucial in ensuring not only your safety but the safety of other drivers around you.
The question then is, how do you stay safe while driving in poor, rainy weather conditions? We here at Robert J DeBry and Associates have compiled this guide to help you avoid having to make a call to your car accident lawyer in the event of a catastrophic accident ⎯ here are some tips that you should follow in order to ensure your safety while traveling in extreme weather conditions such as heavy rainfall.
Examine Your Tire Tread
Tires play a crucial role in keeping you safe while on the road. There is a reason that tires have tread, and if you’re traveling with tires with low tread, you’re putting yourself at risk for a serious car accident. Worn tires decrease traction between your vehicle and the road and increase the chances of skidding. When your car starts skidding, it can be hard to recover as any wheel-turning won’t do anything until your tires regain traction against the pavement.
One effective way to check your tire tread is by using the penny method. Take a penny and insert it between the tread upside down. If Lincoln’s head is covered, your tire tread is still acceptable, however, if you can still see Lincoln’s head, your tire tread is too low, and you will need to seriously consider buying new tires as soon as you can.
A car accident lawyer might see several cases where an accident was caused due to a driver losing control of their vehicle as a result of their poor tire tread; these accidents can oftentimes be fatal. Don’t make the mistake of waiting to buy new tires — make it a priority.
Maintain a Safe Speed
A good rule of thumb for maintaining a safe speed during rainy weather conditions is to drive 10 mph under the speed limit. In addition, if you find that your vision is limited and there is a significant amount of rain on the roads, you might want to slow down even more. Simply put by a car accident lawyer, just drive at a speed that you feel is safest for you and those around you.
Avoid Using Cruise Control
Cruise control is an amazing, innovative feature that is extremely useful during long road trips. However, this feature should only be used during dry weather conditions, and under no circumstances should it be used while it is raining. When a driver decides to turn on cruise control while it’s raining, they increase the chances of losing control of their vehicle. Driving in wet conditions requires you to be in complete control of your vehicle’s speed, steering and braking, and cruise control may prevent you from reducing your speed quickly.
Keep Both Hands on the Steering Wheel
As mentioned in the cruise control section, you need to be in complete control of your vehicle when driving in the rain. Therefore, another important tip to follow is keeping both hands on the steering wheel at all times. While you might be able to steer fine with one hand during dry weather conditions, the unpredictability of wet and slick roads can cause you to lose control at any time. When this happens, you have to be able to react quickly in order to regain control of your vehicle, and you will not be able to achieve this if you don’t have a firm grasp on the steering wheel with both hands.
Create More Space Between You and Other Vehicles
You usually want to be at least two seconds behind the car in front of you, but during rainy weather, you’ll want to make sure that you are six car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you. A car accident lawyer will give you this advice because breaking and slowing down is more difficult on slick roads, and if you follow too closely to another vehicle, you could end up rear-ending the car in front of you.
Drive in the Tracks of the Car in Front of You
Lane markings might become lost in the wet roads, so while maintaining a safe following distance, follow in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you so that you don’t end up swerving off the road. Of course, as the car in front of you could also lose sight of the lane markers, you should still be attentive to your surroundings.
These are the main tips to utilize if you want to avoid an accident during rainy weather, and a car accident lawyer cannot stress the importance of safety precautions during harsh weather conditions enough. If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident due to someone else’s recklessness in rainy weather, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Robert J. DeBry and Associates. We will have an experienced car accident lawyer review your case and get you the compensation that you deserve for your injuries, damages and any lost wages.