Car Accidents In the Rain: Why Are They So Common?
Car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in the United States. Every time a driver is on the road, they are at risk of being involved in a crash, but some circumstances make a collison more likely. Rain and other inclement weather conditions significantly increase the risk of a car accident.
Here, our car accident lawyers from Zucker & Regev, P.C. discuss how rain impacts road conditions, and offer drivers in Brooklyn, NY, and surrounding areas tips on driving safely in the rain to minimize the likelihood of a rainy day car accident.
How Common Are Rainy Day Car Accidents?
Car accidents take place every day in all types of road conditions, but accident data shows that rain and other inclement weather conditions do affect the risk of a car accident. According to data reported by the Federal Highway Administration, there are over 5,891,000 car accidents each year. Of these, 21 percent (or over 1,200,000) are weather-related. On average, 5,000 people are killed and over 418,000 people are injured in weather-related crashes each year.
Of all weather-related car accidents, the most common are those that take place in the rain or on wet pavement. 46 percent of weather-related car accidents take place during active rainfall, and 70 percent of weather-related crashes involve wet pavement.
How Rain Impacts Road Conditions
The primary reason that so many car accidents take place during or immediately after rainfall is that the weather has a direct impact on road conditions, and few drivers react appropriately to these changes. Rain and wet roads affect:
- Visibility - The distance that a driver can see is greatly reduced during active precipitation.
- Pavement friction - Even light rain can mix with oils on the road and create slick conditions.
- Stopping distance - Slick roads do not grip tires as well, so it takes vehicles longer to come to a complete stop when it is raining or the roads are wet.
- Flow of traffic - The flow/speed of traffic generally slows down in the rain, so drivers need to adjust their speed accordingly.
Minimizing the Risk of a Car Accident in the Rain
Rain and wet pavement create conditions that make a car accident more likely, but there are steps that Brooklyn drivers can take to minimize that risk. Any time that weather conditions are poor, drivers should practice these safety tips:
- Reduce speed
- Leave plenty of distance between your vehicle and others (at least three car lengths)
- Make sure windshield wipers are working properly
- Turn on headlights (or fog lights, depending on the weather) to improve vehicle visibility
- Allow for increased braking distance
- Avoid standing water
Liability for Weather-Related Car Accidents
Weather impacts road conditions, but drivers are still responsible for doing their part to avoid a collision, which includes responding appropriately to inclement weather. Even if poor road conditions contribute to an accident, another driver may be found liable for a crash if they acted recklessly or negligently. Our Brooklyn car accident lawyers can establish liability for rain-related car accidents so that injury victims can pursue compensation for related damages.
If you have been injured in a car accident that took place in the rain, our lawyers at Zucker & Regev, P.C. can assist you in maximizing compensation for accident damages. To discuss the details of your crash with our legal team, send us a message online, or call (718) 624-1211 at your earliest convenience.