Snow and ice are not the most deadly driving hazards. Turns out its rain.
A new federal study reports rain causes more driving fatalities than snow in 39 out of the 50 states. In fact, car accidents are the deadliest weather hazard in the United States—whether caused by rain, snow, fog, or wind—and kill about 7,000 Americans a year.
The study is based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data compiled for all U.S. car accident fatalities between 2009 and 2013. “Even though winter conditions do generate their share of accidents, wet conditions are generally more common in many areas. And drivers are often less cautious than they might be with winter conditions,” says James Koermer, a meteorology professor at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire.
As residents of South Florida, rain is not a foreign concept, and, with summer fast approaching, we can all expect deluges of heavy rains during the warmer months. When these sporadic rain showers hit, roadways often become very slick and flooded. Driving in these conditions is not often the safest action.
Even the mildest shower in Florida can make it dangerous for drivers to operate their motor vehicles. When water and oil from vehicles combine on the street, it becomes a slippery surface with less traction for tires. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the first ten minutes following a rain shower are the most dangerous and have the greatest potential for causing car accidents. After the oil is washed off the roadway, the surface becomes less slippery.
As a personal injury attorney, I urge all drivers to use extreme caution while driving in all forms of rain. First and foremost, slow down and prepare for longer braking times. Stay in the middle lanes, or the lanes with the highest elevation, and always have your lights and wipers on.
If you or a loved one is involved in a rain-related car accident, contact me immediately for a free consultation. In many cases, urgent actions must be taken to preserve evidence and investigate the causes of the accident. I am a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer with over thirty-five years of experience recovering compensation for car accident victims and their families. Contact me today:
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