There is a lot of rain in Washington. The state alone averages five inches of snowfall while areas like Seattle receive only 152 sunny days per year. A clear majority of the days here involve rain, but the heaviest rains and winds come in the fall.
Therefore, it is best to prepare yourself for the cooler temperatures, dirt, oil, leaves, and the slick roads that combine to create dangerous driving conditions.
While the weather could cause accidents, that does not excuse negligence. If a motorist is speeding or driving recklessly in inclement weather, they can still be held liable for any injuries they cause.
Essential Tips for Safer Driving in Heavy Rain and Wind
Poor visibility is standard with torrential rains storms, but hydroplaning is also quite common. Hydroplaning happens when a vehicle is going too fast in the rain, which then causes the tires to travel on the water rather than grip the roadside. Steering and braking functions are almost non-existent at this point, and it could lead to a loss of control of the vehicle.
- Use your headlights. Even if it is during the day, turning on your headlamps will ensure that other vehicles see you. Daylight running lights should always be on, but if your vehicle does not have them, turn on your headlights.
- Add space between you and other vehicles. Give yourself an added one to two seconds of following space between yourself and the lead vehicle. While you cannot control how much distance trailing vehicles have, the more room you give yourself from the car ahead, the less likely you are to accidentally rear end them if they were to stop suddenly.
- Take your time. There is no need to speed or rush during a heavy rainstorm. To prevent your car from hydroplaning, you want to drive slowly, especially when the rain first starts. When the storm strikes, the oil and water are just mixing on the road, which creates unusually slick conditions.
- Think about what you are doing. Most of us are guilty of driving almost subconsciously out of habit. That means that we do not focus on what we are doing or even notice where we are driving too. When it rains, you must adjust your thinking and take extra notice of the vehicles around you.
- Do not use cruise control. Cruise control is not designed for slick surfaces or adverse weather conditions. In fact, using it in inclement weather almost guarantees that you will lose control of your vehicle. If you were to hydroplane while in cruise control, your car will go faster and you may be unable to take control and prevent a serious accident.
- Slow yourself down. Speed limits are for ideal road conditions. Therefore, in heavy rain, you should reduce the miles per hour accordingly, such as five to ten miles. Follow the speed of other vehicles, however, so that you are not going too slow – which is equally a hazard.
Injured by a Negligent Driver? You May Have a Claim
If you are in an accident in a heavy rainstorm because another driver failed to operate safely, you may have a claim against that driver. To explore your options and see if you have a case, meet with an attorney from Hames, Anderson, Whitlow & O’Leary, P.S. Our attorneys meet with you for a no-obligation case evaluation and we can tell you not only if you have a case, but how we can help.
Schedule your consultation now by calling 509-586-7797 or request more information online.