Most people don’t like driving in bad weather. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are more than 950,000 auto accidents every year caused by wet roads alone. However, with good driving habits and some extra caution, rainy weather doesn’t have to keep you from going out. Here are some tips for staying safe and avoiding an auto accident while driving in rainy weather—or having to call an attorney.
Adjust Your Driving to the Weather
The best way to avoid an auto accident is to be alert and aware of what’s going on around you. Remember that speed limit signs are intended for good road conditions, not bad. So, adjust your driving accordingly. Whenever there is rainy weather, you should increase your following distance, slow down and be patient. Allow a little more time to get where you’re going and turn on your headlights.
If your visibility is less than 1000 feet or about a quarter of a mile, you need to turn on your headlights. Headlights help other drivers see you better and thus help you avoid accidents or the need to hire an attorney.
There is nothing more important than a vehicle that is properly maintained. Driving in rainy weather requires well-working wipers, good tires with sufficient tread, and great brakes. Furthermore, rain makes roads slick and having good tread on your tires will help you grip the road better. When combined, all of these things will help you maintain control of your vehicle and hopefully avoid an auto accident.
Whenever there is a layer of water on the road, hydroplaning can occur. This is when your tires begin to ride on top of the standing water, instead of the surface of the road. Basically, your tires cannot scatter the water sufficiently to maintain contact with the road, thus causing your vehicle to slide. Even if you’re going as little as 35 miles per hour, hydroplaning can occur if there is at least one-twelfth an inch of rain on the road.
If you start to hydroplane, the best thing to do is to steer straight ahead and slowly take your foot off the gas pedal. Do not slam on your brakes. This will allow your tires to regain contact with the road. Follow these tips and you shouldn’t have to call an attorney.
Don’t Use Cruise Control
Turn cruise control off whenever roads are slick. Did you know that cruise control can actually cause your vehicle to speed up if you start slipping or hydroplaning? That’s because of the lack of traction and that is not what you want to happen. Instead, keep your hands on the wheel, slow down and pay attention to the road.
These tips apply to all types of inclement weather and will help both you and your family arrive safely at your destination safely. If you’ve been in an auto accident, call us here at Robert J. DeBry to find an auto accident attorney near you. Whether you live in Ogden or Salt Lake City, we have an experienced attorney that can help.