Wednesday was a rainy day in San Diego. The rain, according to California Highway Patrol, contributed to 356 accidents by 6 p.m. compared to a normal daily accident range of between 50 and 70. Mike Allen, the owner of the Bumper Doc in Kearny Mesa, says that when the rains occur the aftermath for them is an increase in business. For the rest of us, the rain just adds to the difficulty of navigating the roadways.
According to an investigation into rainfall’s impact on traffic performed by the University of Virginia, rain and its intensity affect traffic in the following ways:
- Light rain – intensity of .01 to .25 inches per hour – 4% to 10% decrease in freeway capacity
- Heavy rain – intensity of .25 inches per hour or > – 25% to 30% decrease in freeway capacity
- The presence of rain at any intensity results in a 5% to 6.5% decrease in operating speeds
The overall takeaway behind those readings is that as drivers, we have to be aware of how wet roads affect our ability to maneuver and what we can do to protect ourselves. Before you get on the road, there are some steps you can take to improve your chances a safe journey.
Before Driving in the Rain
- Check all lights to ensure proper working function
- If the bottoms of your shoes are wet, wipe them on the carpet to avoid having them slip off of the pedals
- Check your tires; driving on bald tires will increase chances of hydroplaning; maintain proper inflation
Tips for Safer Driving on Wet Roads
- Obey posted speed limits and downward adjust for safety
- Stay towards the middle lanes as water collects in outside lanes
- Watch your following distance; no tail-gaiting
- Drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you
- Use care when driving behind or near to large vehicles as overspray from the tires can decrease your visibility
- Drive with your headlights on
- Avoid driving through pools of water; it is difficult to determine the depth and result in serious damage to your vehicle
- Try not to make sharp or quick turns
How to Avoid Hydroplaning
When tires encounter more water than they can disperse, hydroplaning can occur. The water pressure in the front pushes water underneath the tire, separating the tire from the road. The thin film of water causes the vehicle to lose traction; affecting overall control of the vehicle.
- Do not over-brake
- Braking too hard can lock the wheels and cause hydroplaning
- Do not over-steer
- Trying to over-correct can intensify the skid
- Do not over-accelerate
- Too much power to the wheels will cause them to spin faster
The Steinger, Greene, & Feiner family wishes you and your loved ones safe travels. Our roads are a shared space, affected by all types of outside sources; the weather is just one of the hurdles we encounter while driving. Be vigilant, especially when weather causes loss of Our clients and their cases are very important to us. Even more important, however, is providing the public with useful information to assist in crash prevention. Pay close attention to the weather conditions and adjust your driving accordingly. The most beneficial end-result is a safe arrival to your destination.
Though precautions can help, accidents sometimes remain unavoidable. In those instances where you or a loved one has been injured in a collision, call a caring, knowledgeable advocate who will review your case and present options. If you need a personal injury attorney, speak to our car accident lawyers in West Palm Beach today: (800) 560-5059.
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