Car accidents in the rain
It rains a lot in the Pacific Northwest. In 2018 Oregon was deemed by some magazine to be the fifth (5th ) most dangerous state to drive in during bad weather. Car accidents in the rain are common.
A driver has a legal duty to exercise due care while behind the wheel. This means that sometimes, especially in the rain, the posted speed limit and speed at which its safe to travel might be different. When driving, one must take the following factors into consideration: traffic, surface and width of road, hazards on roads and/or at intersections, weather, visibility and any other condition that may cause a dangerous situation.
Car accidents in the rain are often caused by:
Speeding: Many drivers fail to adjust their speeds when transitioning from driving in dry weather to driving in wet weather. Some drivers see the posted speed limit sign and don’t think about the dangerous conditions
Following too closely: In the rain, more space is required in between vehicles. Many drivers keep the same distance between them and the vehicle in front of them the same, no matter the driving conditions surrounding them. The fact is that tires on a dry road have better traction than tires on a wet road. It takes a greater distance to stop while driving in the rain. If the driver doesn’t adjust accordingly, the likely hood of an accident is raised exponentially. Extra slippery roads in the beginning of fall: The earliest rains of the fall are among the most dangerous. Over the summer, roads attract oil from cars and other debris that sits on the roadway and accumulates until the fall. The first few rainstorms clean up the road slightly but causes some of the more dangerous conditions for driving.
Unmaintained vehicles: During the summer, people often think their windshield wipers, tires and brakes are in perfect working condition. They may not notice that the tires on their vehicle are bald or that their windshield wipers cause more visibility issues than they solve until it’s too late. If a driver doesn’t properly maintain their vehicle, that person and any passengers they have are in serious danger. Hydroplaning or suddenly blurred sight can cause serious accidents and could even result in death.
Clogged drains causing standing water: If drains around roadways are clogged, nearby roads are in danger of causing areas of standing water on what seems like a relatively safe place. If a driver is on a road that seems dry and all of a sudden hits a spot that’s almost flooded with standing water it could cause serious injuries. Hydroplaning often results.
Leaves: Leaves have the potential to become very slippery when wet. If a roadway hasn’t been cleaned of leaves, a driver needs to remember that in many instances those leaves can cause poor traction or even hydroplaning. It’s a good idea to leave extra room between vehicles on leaf-covered roadways as it is a real possibility that it may be harder to brake than one would presume.
Many insurance companies will try to deny valid insurance claims by citing “bad weather”. If you or someone you know has been in a “weather-related” accident, remember that all consultations with a personal injury law firm are free. Let someone with experience take a look at your incident and make sure that you get the representation you deserve today.