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Extreme Weather and Car Accidents Caused by Rain

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Extreme weather events can occur anytime of year. Winter blizzards, spring hail, summer tornados and fall hurricanes all increase the risk of accidents on the road. But it’s not just the extreme weather events that are dangerous. Car accidents caused by rain are more serious than most Americans realize. Even the slightest drizzle has been known to pull the oil from the asphalt creating unusually slippery conditions, and the change in weather causes drivers to behave erratically. 

The story of how weather impacts road safety throughout the United States is never cut and dry. If you’re the victim of a rain car crash you might have a legal case, especially if the other driver wasn’t driving with appropriate due care and attention. 

Extreme Weather Events and Dangerous Drivers

Car accidents in Los Angeles and across the United States increase because people tend to drive either extremely timidly or completely recklessly. Each type of driver can be just as dangerous as the impact of weather on the roads. 

During winter car accidents, many people are surprised to learn they are at fault for the fender bender. For example, if the car in front of you slams on their brakes and you’re going too fast to safely stop or are following too closely behind, then you could be considered at fault. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon scenario for the 70% of Americans that live in snowy regions. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, every year more than 1,300 people are killed and 116,800 are injured in car accidents where snow, slush and ice were contributing factors.

Like the weather, car accidents can happen suddenly and without warning. However, statistically there are certain times of the month where collisions are more common. When analyzing car accidents by month you’re more likely to get in an accident during the summer, not winter. According to the National Safety Council, in 2020 vehicle fatalities were the lowest in January at 2,666 deaths and it reached the highest point in June with 3,725.

How to Minimize Risk When Driving in Extreme Weather?

A light sprinkle of rain can turn into a torrential downpour with a single lightning crack and roar of thunder. According to the National Weather Service, driving in flood conditions is not advisable, and it’s best to simply turn around to stay safe. 

This is important safety advice to consider as extreme weather events aren’t going away anytime soon. For example, January 2023 in California saw nine atmospheric river events occur in three weeks of each other. The result was flooding, landslides, evacuated homes, washed out roads and at least 20 recorded deaths. 

What else can you do if you’re caught in an extreme weather event?

highway at night with cars and wet pavement - car accidents caused by rain
  • Turn on wipers so you can see the road more clearly.
  • Turn on headlights to increase visibility of the road and so other drivers can see you.
  • Slow down, and drive below the posted speed limit. However, don’t drive too slowly or you could cause an accident, especially in conditions of low visibility.  
  • Avoid braking suddenly. Try your best to pump the brakes or move into the shoulder if you need to stop suddenly.
  • Don’t tailgate. The car in front of you may have to hit their brakes quickly so make sure you have plenty of room to stop. 
  • Avoid large puddles, if you can. Not only will this decrease your chances of hydroplaning but you never know if there’s a giant pothole or large debris hiding in that puddle.
  • Never drive through flooded roads. Turn around and find an alternate route. 

Plan ahead. Weather is becoming easier to predict, so if you do receive notice of an extreme weather event check your windshield wipers, make sure you have a full tank of gas, check your tire pressure and even check the oil.

Pay attention. Drive normally and don’t panic. Driving aggressively and speeding to try and get home sooner to get out of the rain drastically increases your chances of getting into a car accident. 

Pull over. Finding a safe place where you can wait out the storm might be safer than trying to race home.

Rain or Shine, Avrek is the Here to Help 

With more than 50 years combined experience representing cases in several states, Avrek’s expert attorneys understand that traffic accidents are as unpredictable as the weather. That’s why they always stay up-to-date on changes to traffic laws across the United States. No matter the reason, be it car accidents caused by rain, snow, ice or hail, contact Avrek Law for advice on your case. The consultation is free and you’ll get advice from a law firm with more than $1 billion recovered in more than 45,000 cases. View one of our locations or contact us for a free consultation.

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