6 Tips to Avoid a Car Accident in the Rain
Posted on behalf of Janet, Jenner & Suggs on May 08, 2017 in Car Accident
There was heavy rainfall throughout Massachusetts on Friday night, including Boston, where approximately one inch of rain fell in just one hour.
While this increased the risk of flooding, it also increased the risk of weather-related car crashes in Boston.
Rain causes an average of 573,784 car crashes each year, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). On average, more than 2,700 people are killed in these crashes each year, while more than 228,000 suffer injuries.
You can reduce your risk of a rainy weather car accident by using these six safety tips for driving in the rain, including:
1. Slow Down
This is arguably the best way to reduce your risk of a crash, because it takes longer to stop and make other maneuvers when it is raining. Slowing down should increase the distance between your car and the one in front of you, which could provide the extra couple seconds or half second you need to stop or maneuver out of a potentially dangerous situation.
Slowing down is also one of the best ways to reduce your risk of hydroplaning. This occurs when the rain prevents your tires from making contact with the road, causing you to lose control of your car. Even new tires can lose a little bit of contact with the road when you are traveling at a speed of only 35 mph.
2. Don't Use Cruise Control
If you have cruise control engaged and the car in front of you slows down, you will have to use the brake to avoid a collision. However, this can be dangerous in the rain because your wheels could lose traction.
Keeping cruise control off allows you to slow down by letting up on the gas, as opposed to hitting the brake and potentially hydroplaning and losing control of your vehicle.
3. Stay Alert
Whenever you are behind the wheel, your primary focus should be on driving. This is even more important when it is raining because rain makes it harder to maneuver. Keep your eyes on the road and watch for the brake lights of the driver in front of you.
You should also turn on your lights, even if it is only a light rain, as this will increase your visibility. Turning on your lights also helps other drivers to see you, which can help prevent a rear-end collision.
4. Travel in the Center Lane
You should always try to drive in the middle lanes when it is raining. Water tends to pool on the edges of the road and driving through large puddles can cause you to lose control. Splashing can also impair your visibility.
Even if it is not possible to travel in the center lane, you should avoid off-road driving because there are likely to be large puddles. It is difficult to judge the depth of a puddle and it is much easier to get stuck than you think, even if you are driving a large truck or SUV.
5. Use Your Windshield Defroster
Rain often causes windshields and windows to fog up on the inside of the car. If this happens, turn on the heat and switch your air conditioning to the defrosters. If you have a rear window defroster, turn it on as well. This is critical for maintaining the highest level of visibility possible.
6. Make Sure Your Car is Prepared for Rain
This includes checking your car's:
- Windshield wipers – Make sure they are in proper working condition. You should replace your windshield wipers at least once a year.
- Tires – Check to make sure your tires have enough tread to maintain good traction in wet weather. Otherwise, there is a higher risk of hydroplaning.
- Windows and windshield – You need to clean your windshield and windows on a regular basis to ensure you have high visibility in the rain. Smokers need to pay particular attention to their windshield and windows as smoking in the car can leave behind a residue.
- Headlights and brake lights – This helps you see other cars but also helps other drivers see you.
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If you were injured in a rainy-weather car accident, the other driver may be liable. Contact Janet, Jenner & Suggs today to discuss the accident and find out if you have legal options.
Our experienced auto accident lawyers have a long track record of recovering fair compensation for victims of car accidents.
Contact our firm today by completing a Free Case Evaluation form.