Cars in the rain.

Rain Classified as Most Dangerous Driving Condition

According to USA Today, rain is actually the most hazardous driving condition, beating out both sleet and snow. While some might suspect that these slipperier, icier hazards (sleet / snow) would cause the most crashes, it might be precisely this line of thinking that makes rain, the dark horse winner, the most dangerous of all. Snow and sleet are so self-obviously unsafe that drivers instinctively slow down, and drive more watchfully. Rain, on the other hand, is far more common. And, likewise, drivers are more likely to proceed driving at their regular rates. It’s this mix of regularity and lack of increased caution that causes rain to induce the highest amount of car accidents in 39 out of the 50 United States every year.

Rain can also mix with oil and other residues, which saturates most roads though are invisible to the naked eye, and the combination of the two creates a driving surface that can become very slick in a very short amount of time.

However, this report from USA Today was quick to note that “far more people are still killed as a result of reckless driving, speeding and drunken driving.”

That being said, it is still important to take steps that will allow you to drive more carefully in the rain. In this article, we’ll take a look at some driving techniques that motorists should heed when piloting their car or truck in rainy conditions. These tips will keep you, and others, safe in the rain!

Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain

  • Preparation is Key: Before even heading out onto the road, make sure your vehicle is ready to take the rainy ride.If the treads on your tires are worn out, stopping and turning performance will suffer.
    • Tread depths less than 2/32 of an inch are classified as unsafe.
    • Tire pressure is also important. Make sure to regularly test your tire pressure, keeping them inflated to the factory-recommended settings.
    • Make sure all of your light signals are working properly, and also make sure to clear off any dirt that may obscure their output, making them less visible to other drivers.
  • Take It Easy: It’s an age-old piece of advice. But in any adverse driving condition, be sure to slow down. The time it takes to stop a vehicle in the rain is exponentially longer than it is under normal conditions. By driving at a reduced pace, you’ll give yourself time to react to short stops or other unforeseen events. According to some experts, traction is reduced up to 1/3 in the rain!
  • Take the Reins: Don’t rely on your cruise control during the rain. Instead, use your driving instincts and stay engaged in the driving process. It will become, at times, necessary to leave additional space between vehicles and this isn’t something a cruise control system or other “auto” setting will be able to predict / enact. Stay focused, leave space, and keep safe.
  • Stay Calm: “Hydroplaning” is what happens when your car loses all grip on the roadway, gliding instead across a thin layer of water, removing all or nearly all control from the driver. If your vehicle hydroplanes, gently ease your foot off the gas until your tires regain traction on the road.

George Washington Bridge Car Accident

At almost 2:30 in the morning last Monday, on the approach to the George Washington Bridge near Amsterdam Avenue and 180th street, a driver lost control of their vehicle and struck a divider. The FDNY arrived to a grisly scene: the car had been mangled beyond recognition, the airbags deployed, a pink backpack strewn amongst the debris; the tract of divider the car had struck was noticeably thrashed by the collision. Despite the horrifying wreckage, the three passengers survived the ordeal. Two were pulled from the shredded remains of the car and rushed to Harlem Hospital where they were listed as in serious condition, according to officials.

This crash, which is still under investigation, is only the latest in a long and surely endless string of devastating car accidents. But, by adhering to the tips listed above, you can do your part in reducing the likelihood of something terrible like this happening to you.

Kaplan Lawyers PC

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