It’s amazing how often inclement weather is the cause of car accidents. Even more incredible is that many of these accidents could easily be avoided if the driver had just exercised a bit of extra care. Read about some safety tips you should employ when driving in heavy wind and rain, and what to do if you end up in a car accident.
Car Accidents in the Rain
There are many hazards that contribute to car accidents from rain. Among these are poor visibility and the possibility of hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when a cushion of water forms under your tires and lifts them off the road. This means they cannot grip the pavement, and you lose control of your vehicle. At best, braking and steering become more difficult. In extreme situations, they become impossible.
Take Your Time
The best way to avoid hydroplaning and accidents from poor visibility is to simply take your time. Wherever you’re going, you’ll get there. It’s better to be late than not arrive at all. Slow down, and take it easy. In addition to the dangers of hydroplaning, oils in the pavement come to the surface soon after the rain starts, so the road can become slick even if you’re not hydroplaning.
Turn on Your Lights
Turning your headlights on will not only improve your visibility, but it will make you more visible to other drivers on the road. It’s vital that everyone knows where everyone else is, and for this reason most states require you to turn on your lights when it starts to rain. Avoid using high beams, however, especially in heavy rain. While it may seem like they can help you see better, high beams can reflect off of the rain and actually blind you.
Give Plenty of Room
Whatever space you’d normally give between you and another driver, increase it by a good couple of seconds stopping time. Between slick road conditions and hydroplaning, there’s a solid chance you might skid or take a lot longer to slow and stop than in normal conditions. The more space you leave between you and other drivers, the better off you are.
Keep Your Hands on the Wheel
As dangerous as it is to fiddle with the stereo or your cell phone in dry conditions, it’s three times as dangerous in the rain. Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road in front of you. Be hyper aware of everything going on. You’ll be grateful you did if a dangerous situation arises!
If You’re in an Accident
Sometimes, no matter what you do, other drivers act unsafely and cause accidents. If you’re hurt in an accident caused by another driver, consult a qualified Chicago car accident attorney. An attorney will work to make sure that you get all the compensation to which you’re entitled for your injuries and damages. For more information, check out our auto accident page and give us a call today!