According to the United States Department of Transportation, there are approximately 1.2 million weather-related car crashes each year. These accidents can have devastating impacts on the people involved and it is important to take proactive steps to try and prevent accidents whenever possible. One of the most dangerous situations to drive in is wet or snowy conditions, which is why it is important to be aware of these 5 critical safe driving tips for wet roads. A key part of being prepared for an accident is having a trustworthy attorney that you can reach out to in the event of an accident. The experienced car accident attorneys at Labrum Law can help you protect your legal rights after an accident. Consider reaching out to them at (615) 338-9500.
- Be Strategic Regarding How and When You Drive
One of the most important safe driving tips is to be strategic about driving in order to avoid the most unsafe conditions. Some steps that drivers can take include:
- Wait for the weather to improve: if it is not an emergency, you should not be driving in unsafe conditions. Wait for the weather to clear up.
- Avoid driving when it first begins to rain: The onset of rain is one of the most dangerous times because rainwater mixes with oils, grease, and tire residue on the road and creates a slippery surface.
- Do not drive through floodwaters: This is a particularly dangerous situation -- just 12 inches of rushing water can sweep away a small car and two feet can sweep away most vehicles.
- Avoid puddles: Puddles can quickly lead to hydroplaning, which is when a tire encounters more water than it can scatter and water pushes the tire off the road, causing the tire to lose traction. For the driver, this means loss of steering, braking, and power control. The splash from puddles can also cause water to enter the engine compartment of a vehicle and damage internal systems.
- Make Sure the Car Is Safe To Drive
When it comes to safe driving in wet conditions, it is critical to keep your car maintained. No driver wants to be driving in risky conditions and suddenly have their car fail on them. Key points of concern include:
- The tires: Tires have grooves to improve traction in wet environments. If your tires are starting to lose their grooves that will lead to reduced traction and could have deadly consequences.
- Headlights and taillights: These are both important for visibility. Headlights should always be on when driving in wet weather -- not only for visibility but also because they let other drivers and pedestrians know that a vehicle is there.
- Windshield wipers: These are also very important for visibility. Working windshield wipers remove excess moisture from the windows, allowing drivers to see the road properly.
- Ensure Visibility
Focusing on visibility while driving in wet conditions is another one of the most important safe driving tips. Drivers can help ensure visibility by:
- Always keeping headlights on in wet weather, even during the day.
- Avoid turning on their brights - if there is fog, turning on brights can actually reduce visibility.
- Using windshield wipers, even in light rain. This is especially important because when rain flows onto the windshield it can make items seem further away than they are.
- Ventilating the car to ensure the vehicle's windows do not fog up. If you are no longer able to see out of the windows then it is important to pull over.
- Have a Game Plan In Case of an Accident
While drivers can and should take precautions to prevent accidents, sometimes the unavoidable happens and they find themselves in a crash. In this situation, they need to know what to do. In the event of an accident, a driver should:
- Immediately move their vehicle out of traffic to the side of the road.
- Turn on hazard lights.
- Do not exit the vehicle until they have determined it is safe to do so.
- Pack flares, first-aid kits, blankets, and other emergency supplies in their car.
Even when drivers follow safe driving tips, sometimes accidents happen. A key part of the game plan should be to have a lawyer to contact to determine what your next steps are. The lawyers at Labrum Law may be able to provide guidance.
- Do Not Use Your Devices While Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sending or reading a text while driving at 55 miles per hour is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. This may seem like one of the more obvious safe driving tips but it is important to reiterate because so many drivers use their devices anyways.
Drivers should never use their devices while driving - but this is especially true when roads are wet because drivers need to stay alert in order to drive safely. Should something go wrong - should you skid or lose control of the vehicle - you only have seconds to react, and if you are on a device you will not have that reaction time.
The Importance of a Car Accident Attorney
The unfortunate reality is that we are never one hundred percent in control of a situation and while following safe driving tips significantly reduces the likelihood of an accident, it never guarantees you will not be in a car crash. It is important to have an attorney that you can contact in the event of an accident who can provide you with the guidance you need to preserve your legal rights.
In many situations, car accidents may lead to serious injuries, loss of wages, and property damage. You may also have questions about how to negotiate with insurance companies in order to obtain the compensation you deserve. The experienced car accident attorneys at Labrum Law can provide you with the help you need. Contact our legal team for a consultation at (615) 338-9500.