Car accidents increase in wet weather conditions because of visibility impairments, unskilled driving and vehicle performance issues. Rain is considered the cause of thousands of car accidents every year. In fact, new analysis of federal data shows that rain causes more driving fatalities than snow in 39 of the 50 states.
Understanding the increased risk factors for wet weather car accidents is the first step in reducing your chance of being the victim of a car crash. If you were involved in a wet weather car accident, contact a car accident lawyer today.
The most dangerous part of driving in wet weather is the risk of hydroplaning. Hydroplaning is when the tires skim the water’s surface instead of gripping to the road. The car skids out of control until tires re-gain traction.
- Slow down. It is particularly important to slow down during the first 10 minutes of a rainfall which brings up oil that had leaked onto the road. The oil makes the road slick, which increases the risk of hydroplaning. If possible, wait a few minutes before setting out in the rain.
- Get in the habit of turning your headlights on when you turn your windshield wipers on. This makes it easier for oncoming vehicles to see you when it is dark and raining hard.
- Leave extra space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. A good rule of thumb is to add 1-2 extra seconds of following time in the rain, which gives more time to brake without skidding into the cars in front of you.
- Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition. Worn out windshield wipers do not push water away effectively and leave streaks on the windshield that reduce visibility.
- Make sure your tires are in good condition. According to a report released by Consumer Reports, tread that is even half way worn down has significantly reduced grip compared to new tires. Worn and especially bald tires are very dangerous on wet roads because the grooves are no longer deep enough to channel water out from under the tread. When this happens, the car doesn’t respond effectively to the brakes or steering wheel and hydroplanes. Not that tire manufacturers place molded horizontal bars at the base of the grooves so that a bald spot is easier to find.
Does tire siping increase traction on wet roads?
Siping is the act of cutting extra slits into tire treads with the intention of improving the tire’s grip to the road in the event of poor weather conditions. Consumer reports tested the effects of tire siping in various conditions and found that braking distances on wet and dry pavement were a few feet longer while they were shorter on snowy and icy roads. At about $15 per tire, it may not be worth the cost if you will be primarily dealing with wet weather conditions.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!