Driving in severe weather is tricky. One of the most common (and potentially dangerous) weather conditions is
rain. Rain and wet weather give many drivers anxiety, and rightfully so: rain
causes more than 700,000
car accidents in the United States ever year.
While this statistic may be frightening, driving in wet weather conditions
doesn’t have to scare you. Here are a few tips for staying safe
on the road this rainy season:
1) Stay Alert
It might seem simple, but
thinking while you drive is the best way to avoid an accident. According to researchers,
most drivers tend to drive on “autopilot,” without putting
active thought into where they’re going. Operating a vehicle is
probably second nature to you, but driving in the rain may require quick
thinking and reflexes; be ready to react.
2) Stay Visible by Turning on Your Headlights
In the U.S., drivers must turn on headlights when visibility. Even if you
don’t feel like you need to use your headlights, turn them on so
that other drivers can see you.
3) Watch Out for Hydroplaning
Hydroplaning happens when your tires gain traction on puddles in the road
instead of the asphalt, causing the vehicle to the skid and swerve. Hydroplaning
is very common; it only takes 1/12
th of an inch of water and a vehicle moving 35 miles per hour to create this
scenario. If you feel your car hydroplaning, remove your foot from the
accelerator and continue driving straight until the car regains traction
on the road.
4) Do Not Use Cruise Control
Cruise control is a great tool for drivers, but it can be dangerous in
wet weather. If you’re using cruise control and begin to hydroplane,
your vehicle will speed up. In dry conditions, cruise control helps your
vehicle maintain a steady speed. In the rain, however, cruise control
can cause accidents.
5) Watch Your Speed
“Slow down” is the one of the most important things to remember
while driving in the rain. According to Florida law, it is unlawful to
drive faster that is “reasonable and prudent” for given conditions.
In wet weather conditions, this could be
slower than the posted speed limit.
Weather and dangerous conditions cause some accidents; others are the result
of negligence. If you suffered an injury in a car accident, the Clearwater
car accident attorneys at Roman & Gaynor can help you seek compensation
from the responsible driver. Learn more by contacting our office today.