wet roads

Auto Accident Prevention: Safety for the Rainy Days

Our hot summer days have given way to Fall and it definitely seems to be a wet one this year. With all this moisture wreaking havoc across the northwest, it’s no wonder that rainy weather significantly impacts driving conditions. Unfortunately, rain causes liable safety concerns for every vehicle and driver on the road. Rivers, creeks, and water reserves are swelling, backing up and flowing past crest lines.  Burgeoning streams and storm drains spill into roadways and can pose hazardous conditions for all types of vehicles and traffic flow.

Even if driving in the rain doesn’t seem to faze you, there’s a probable chance that you will be driving among many who are challenged by its unpredictability. Limited visibility, fluctuating speed limits, and potential dangers of driving against moving water and obstacles in the roadway can challenge the steadiest of motorists.

When it Rains it Pours: Weather-Related Auto Accidents

Water blurs the safety lines and painted asphalt. It may sound a bit redundant or even seem laughable as the rain pours throughout the northwest-but the best tip for personal safety is: Don’t drive through water-covered streets!  As water covers the pavement, it’s also softening the earth and hillsides around the roads. Several landslides have already been reported across the state and, technically, we’re not even in the rainiest part of the year yet.

Flooding reduces roadway capacity by limiting or preventing visibility of road conditions, lanes, and access to submerged lanes.  Most weather-related accidents occur on wet pavement and during rainfall. Excessive water on pavement can challenge any vehicle’s traction and maneuverability.  Water creates resistance that lower the driver’s control of the vehicle as water rises and submerges part of the tires.

Each year, 75 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes happen on wet roadways and 47 percent occur during rainfall. That is over 5,900 fatalities and well over half a million-people suffering personal injuries in crashes on wet pavement annually. https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/weather/weather_events/rain_flooding.htm 

Weather car accidents

Photo credit: https://weather.com/safety/winter/news/weather-fatalities-car-crashes-accidents-united-states

Extreme Precipitation

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn of flooded roads.  A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flooding waters. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/water/tadd/

weather car accident

Photo credit: https://weather.com/safety/winter/news/weather-fatalities-car-crashes-accidents-united-states

Heed the Warning

Staying tuned into news updates on road closures can help drivers navigate flooding roadways and routes. GPS and mobile apps may provide alternative routes. But if there are signs warning drivers of water on the roadway or flooded streets, always obey the road warnings and closures to avoid potential dangers and disasters! If possible, it’s best to avoid any unnecessary driving during unsafe conditions.

Despite every effort to be a cautious driver in rainy weather, car accidents can and do happen. When they do, they often result in significant property damage and personal injury. If you or a loved one were injured in bad weather, contact Fielding Law Group for a free case review.  They are expert attorneys  who will ensure your interests are protected long after the storm is over. Don’t let an accident wreck YOU!