What Weather Causes The Most Car Accidents in Memphis?

In Memphis, Tennessee, the weather can be deceiving. It is essential as a driver to be prepared for all types of weather conditions that can come about. Being prepared will help you avoid getting into a Memphis car accident. Whether it is rain, wind, fog, or snow/ice, knowing how to handle these types of conditions when driving helps you stay safe!

weather causes car accidents memphis

Weather Conditions and Memphis Car Accidents


In 2021, Shelby County in Memphis had 38,243 car accidents*, with 239 fatal crashes. A majority of these accidents occurred during the spring and summer months; this also happens to be the time rain is the most frequent. Heavy rainfall can affect a drivers’ visibility of the road. It can be challenging to view the car in front of you or the cars next to you, and it can be difficult to view the lane lines to avoid drifting! Road flooding and hydroplaning are direct results of heavy rains or long rains. It rains over 100 days in Tennessee during the year, with about 54.1 inches of rain on average in Memphis; the US average rainfall is only 38.1 inches.


When driving through flooded areas, it is crucial to slow down and avoid submerging your car above the tops of your tires, so you don’t get stuck. When you are slowing down, don’t slam on your breaks, as that will cause you to be rear-ended or cause you to hit the car in front of you! Hydroplaning occurs when too much water gets in between the tires’ treads, and a sudden change of speed occurs, faster or slower. Hydroplaning happens the most during the beginning of a rainstorm and when flooding starts to build on the road. When it starts to rain, the road becomes slicker because the rain brings up oils packed into the pavement. Car accidents are more likely to occur because of hydroplaning since the driver loses control of the vehicle.


Winds are more of a catalyst when thinking about its effects on car accidents. Wind impacts rain much more, causing the visibility to worsen and compromising the vehicle’s stability. But tornadoes also come with severe winds. Just in March of 2020, ten tornadoes touched down across the state of Tennessee in two days, with a few devastating ones hitting Nashville and Memphis areas. These were nighttime tornadoes, and it has been reported that tornado occurrences have been increasing during the night. It is already risky when driving at night with other factors of possible drunk drivers and drivers who are drowsy. But add rain storms and tornadoes; now you have to plan what to do if driving becomes too tricky at night.


Fog is another hindrance to drivers’ visibility. For the most part, fog occurs more often in the mornings than at any other time during the day; fog is a unique weather condition as it doesn’t stick around all day.Fog forms when humidity is high, and the temperature drops to the dew point temperature needs to hold the air’s moisture to condense. When driving through fog in the morning, it is important to go slower and be more aware of other drivers around you. Although it is no rain, wind, or flood, fog still has a high car accident rate compared to the different conditions.

Who is At-Fault if Weather is Involved?

Tennessee is an at-fault state which means that a driver found at-fault for a car accident will be responsible for your compensation for any damages. The weather cannot be held accountable for causing a car accident. Drivers are assumed to be driving more carefully during any weather conditions as reckless driving would make them negligent in a car accident; slowing down during weather conditions that affect visibility would be considered safe driving.

It’s important to know that the statute of limitations is only one year. This means if you get into a car accident in Memphis, you only have one year to file a claim against the person who was found at-fault for the car accident. Always make sure to file a police report for your accident, as this will aid your case in receiving compensation for your damages. A Memphis car accident lawyer will be able to guide you through the process of filing a claim against the at-fault driver.



* https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/safety/documents/crash_stats/2022/CrashByType_01182022.pdf

About the Author

Sean Greene
Sean Greene

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Sean J. Greene has recovered more than $150 million in the past 10 years for clients. He specializes within the firm in wrongful death, personal injury, medical malpractice, nursing home malpractice, and product liability cases. Sean has represented coaches and players in the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) who have been victims of personal injuries. In 2001, after winning a trial on liability, he recovered $11,200,000 for the family of David Griggs, the former Miami Dolphins player who died in an automobile accident in Broward County, Florida. He has received the highest distinction of an AV® rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, which recognizes Sean as possessing “Very High-Preeminent” legal ability with “Very High” ethical standards. Additionally, he is a member of the prestigious Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum whose membership is limited to trial lawyers who have achieved a trial verdict or settlement in the amount of $1,000,000 or more. Sean is widely known in South Florida, as he cohosted the TV program “Your Legal Rights” and lectures throughout the state of Florida on various legal issues.