Increased Risk of Car Accidents in the Rain
There is a popular saying that it never rains in Southern California. While those in the golden state are fortunate to enjoy clear skies most of the time, rain and inclement weather does occur. And when the rain hits, car accidents are a big risk.
Car accident lawyers Sean M. Burke and Jason N. Argos discuss the ways that rain affects the likelihood of a car accident, as well as the resulting damages of those accidents. We also offer some tips to drivers in the Irvine, CA, area to protect themselves while driving in inclement weather.
How Does the Rain Affect the Risk of a Car Accident?
Whether rain is heavy or light, precipitation, fog, and wind have been shown to increase the risk that a car accident will occur. The number of car accidents that take place on Irvine roads when the rain hits seems to be particularly high, partially because drivers in this usually sunny state are not used to poor weather conditions.
Some of the key ways that rain affects the risk of a car accident are:
- Reduced visibility - Rain and fog reduce driver visibility, making it more difficult to see other cars or objects on the road, and also affecting a driver’s ability to judge the distance between vehicles.
- Loss of traction - When roads are wet, they have less friction. Reduced traction increases the distance that vehicles travel before coming to a full stop. Misjudging braking time is a common cause of car accidents in the rain.
- Driver reaction - The way drivers react to the rain plays a large role in the risk of an accident. Some drivers refuse to adjust their driving speed or take other safety measures during the rain. Others overreact or panic during inclement weather and make sudden maneuvers that make accidents more likely.
Study Shows Fatal Car Crashes More Likely in the Rain
It is clear that rain creates hazards that make car accidents more likely. However, a recent study indicates that accidents that take place in the rain also tend to be more catastrophic. According to the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, the risk of a fatal car crash increases by about 34 percent during precipitation events in the United States.
For the study, researchers looked at crash data collected by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration between the years 2006 and 2011 and compared it to high-resolution radar data that tracked the weather. To ensure that the study focused solely on fatal accidents caused by the rain, researchers eliminated any accidents where alcohol or drug involvement was noted in police reports.
While the study shows that heavy rain has the greatest impact on the risk of a fatal accident, it also found that any degree of precipitation poses a threat. The study reports that even in light rain the risk of a fatal car accident increases by 27 percent.
Minimizing the Risk of an Accident in the Rain
Rainy weather increases the risk of a car crash, but there are steps that Irvine drivers can take to minimize that danger:
- Reduce your speed when driving in the rain
- Have your headlights on to increase vehicle visibility
- Allow extra time to slow down or come to a stop
- Maintain adequate distance between other vehicles
- Have your tires and windshield wipers checked regularly to ensure they are safe and working properly
Contact Our Law Firm
Even if rainy weather contributes to a car accident, liable drivers can still be held accountable for their actions. If you’ve been injured in an accident, lawyers Sean M. Burke and Jason N. Argos can help you pursue financial compensation for damages. To discuss your accident with our legal team, send us a message online, or call our law firm at (949) 644-3434.