Torrential rains in Southern California are so uncommon that when they do occur, the roads become a nightmare. From car accidents to mudslides, motorcycle crashes to flooding, drivers in the San Fernando Valley are generally just not prepared for inclement weather and serious auto accidents result.
Impact of Weather on Drivers
Weather is considered one of the most common causes of an auto accident. According to the Federal Highway Administration, approximately 22% of crashes in the U.S. are weather-related and about 73% of weather-related accidents occurred during rainfall.
While inexperienced or nervous drivers are especially at risk during rainstorms and other instances of bad weather, even the most skilled and experienced driver can be affected by heavy rains. Indeed, rain can impact a driver’s visibility, make the roads slippery, and/ or cause debris and other materials to flood the roads. Unfortunately, this is a combination that can lead to a disaster.
San Fernando Valley’s roads are most slippery during the first few minutes of a rain shower or storm. This means this is the period of time when drivers and passengers are at risk — Due to the oils on the road coming to the road’s surface, drivers are more likely to lose control and spin out, crashing into another vehicle.
Another big danger brought on by rainy weather is hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when the water in the front of the tires builds up quicker than the tire can move it out of the way. As a result, a thin layer of water separates the vehicle’s tires from the road, preventing the vehicle from braking and turning properly. Side note: if you begin to hydroplane, it is important to not suddenly brake or turn.
Tips for Driving in the Rain
If you must be out on the road during bad weather, it is important that you take extra care when behind the wheel. Even in sunny San Fernando Valley, it is likely that at some point, you will end up driving in the rain. Consider the following tips in order to avoid being injured in an accident:
- Drive under the speed limit
- Turn on your headlights
- Defog your windows to maintain good visibility
- Do not tailgate — Keep plenty of distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you
- Put your phone away — texting and driving is illegal and incredibly dangerous!
This list is not exhaustive. If you or a loved one has been injured in a auto accident that was not your fault, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries. Contact experienced accident attorney Barry P. Goldberg today for a free, no obligation consultation.