Driving During Bad Weather Conditions
As a rule, during bad weather it is best not to drive. That is why checking your weather forecast on a daily basis is a good practice. Especially when you are planning on a road trip or just when you need to drive and it is raining.
According to the National Weather Service, in 2020, California had the highest weather-related fatalities in the US. This is hard to believe since there are not that many bad weather days especially in California.
Everyone who has driven in heavy rain knows that during this weather condition, you need to take into consideration all the elements around you. Racing along at “dry weather” speeds during rain ignores the loss of traction and reduced visibility that comes with the rain. If an accident occurs during bad weather, people who are injured in the crash may wonder how the weather’s role in the accident might factor into the at-fault driver’s liability. Some of the negligence-related incidents that arise in bad weather conditions are:
- Failure to maintain a safe distance
- Failure to drive with road conditions in mind
- Failure to perform regular maintenance
What Can You Do to Avoid Bad Weather Accidents?
Remember, driving is a privilege. A driver must obey traffic laws. When driving, you must always maintain a safe distance. Having a safe distance gives you enough time for you to react whatever is ahead of you. You can slow down avoiding an accident. You know the caution signs “Slippery When Wet” for pedestrians? That applies to cars too when the road is wet. That is why speed must be adjusted when driving during bad weather. When roadway conditions change, the posted limits may no longer be appropriate. It is better to be safe than sorry.
It is also a good practice to perform regular maintenance in your vehicle before the rainy season arrives. Checking the tires, brakes, windshield wipers, making sure everything is in order. If you are driving where there is snow, make sure you follow requirements like having tire chains installed. Even a simple changing of the windshield wipers could save you from an accident. Visibility is very important under bad weather conditions. The tires lose traction when the road is wet making it easy to lose control of the vehicle. Check your tires tread depth. This is one of the most obvious visual signs that you can rely on. Tire tread is critical for gripping the road, especially in poor weather conditions such as rain and snow. Balding tires can slip and slide all over the road. The lower the tread depth, the longer it will take to bring the car to a stop, particularly when the road is wet. You can measure tread depth in inches or millimeters. It’s worth checking to learn the recommended tread depth for your tires. Generally anything above 1/16th of an inch indicates a healthy tire and no need to replace it. Once the tire gets below this, you should purchase a new set right away. Tire gauges can show the depth for you or you can try the penny trick. Place a Lincoln penny head-down in the tread. If you still see the great president’s entire head, there isn’t enough tread on the tire. This trick works in a pinch, but you should be sure to check with a tire gauge as soon as possible.
In case of an unavoidable accident, the Law Offices of Payam Y. Poursalimi can answer any questions or concerns. Call the office for a free consultation at 877-PAYAMLA.