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Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain

Driving in the rain

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According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT), more than 2 million people are injured in motor vehicle accidents in the United States each year. Betweendistracted, fatigued, and intoxicated drivers, the road can be a dangerous place under normal, everyday conditions. Throw in bad weather such as heavy rains, and driving conditions can become downright hazardous.

Is Driving in the Rain Dangerous?

Yes. Driving in the rain decreases tire traction and can cause cars to no preform as intended. Rain can hide road hazards like potholes and debris. 

What Makes Driving in the Rain so Dangerous?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, rainfall is a prominent factor in nearly half of all weather-related accidents. But why is it so hazardous? Because on one hand, the rain can physically decrease a vehicle's ability to perform as intended. Even small to moderate amounts of rainfall can push motor oils to a road’s surface, decreasing tire traction. Rain can also hide major hazards such as potholes and debris.

Then there is the human element. The rain can affect a driver’s visibility, roadside awareness, and ability to control their vehicle. When motorists do not adjust their driving habits for rainy conditions, accidents are likely to result. Cars that travel too fast run the risk of hydroplaning. Cars that follow too closely behind each other may not leave enough room to stop in the event of an emergency. Whether due to inexperience, overconfidence, or negligence, the failure to take extra precautions in the rain can put everyone on the road at risk.

Tips for safe driving during rain include:

  • Drive slowly: With reduced visibility and roadside traction, slow driving is safe driving. Don’t be afraid to cut your speed drastically and never drive faster than you feel is safe for the area.
  • Give other drivers space: While it is always a good idea to avoid tailgating, when conditions are not at their best, consider leaving extra room between you and the other vehicles on the road. In the case of an accident, it may provide you with the few extra seconds you need to avoid a crash.
  • Know where you are going beforehand: This tip falls squarely into the category of avoiding distractions. While checking your phone’s GPS or glancing at a map may not seem to require much cognitive power, during a storm, every bit of concentration matters. It can take only a moment of diverted attention for an accident to occur.
  • A vehicle can hydroplane: Water lessens contact and traction with the road.

Tips for when driving in the rain

Injured in an Accident? Call (530) 413-0245

If you have been injured in a car accident, the Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley is here to help. If the actions of a negligent or careless driver led to a crash, our Sacramento car accident attorneys can help you understand your legal options. We have substantial experience helping victims throughout Northern California get the compensation they need to move forward with their lives.

Streets on a rainy day with reduced visibility

Additional Reading:

  1. Does bad weather play a role in accident liability?
  2. Here we go over the common causes of car accidents

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