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Personal Injury Law Blog

Wet weather safety tips

The mix of cold temperatures and wet weather often creates nightmarish driving conditions for motorists. According to the AAA Exchange, each year the number of car accidents that occur from wet pavement is almost 1.2 million. To keep yourself from becoming a statistic, here are some with weather safety tips to keep in mind.

Pre-trip preparation

Safety starts from the first moment you get into the car. Before hitting the road, you should inspect your vehicle to ensure that it is road ready. Make sure all tires are properly inflated. Inspect the windshield wipers for signs of damage and excessive wear, and replace them if necessary. Check to see if all interior and exterior vehicle lights are fully functional, especially the turn signals and brake lights.

Drive slow

The streets are harder and more challenging to drive on once they are wet. You should pay close attention to all traffic signs and speed limits. Adjust your speeds accordingly so you are driving slightly slower than the posted speed limits. Driving fast on wet pavement reduces the amount of contact your tires have with the ground and can cause your vehicle to hydroplane. This increases your chances of sliding, skidding and crashing into other vehicles or objects. You can avoid hydroplaning by keeping the steering wheel straight while you reduce your current speed. The speeds that are posted are meant to be adhered to in ideal traveling conditions. Wet weather creates less than ideal ones, especially if it is raining, snowing or foggy outside.

Use headlights

Wet road conditions often lead to decreased visibility on the roads. Make sure your headlights are on to increase your visibility to others and make it easier for you to see other drivers. Do not use your high beams or you risk temporarily blinding other motorists. Although it is legally required for all drivers to use their headlights when visibility is low, you should still keep an eye out for drivers who do not use them.

Increase following distance

You need to allow more space between your vehicle and the one in front of you so your vehicle has enough room to stop safely. To reduce chances of impact with other vehicles, you should avoid slamming on the brakes and making sharp turns. You should also approach all stops and intersections slowly and with caution.

When you take into consideration that there are other drivers out there who may or may not be driving as cautiously as they should, the roads can become the scene of car accidents, injuries and even death. If you are dealing with the aftermath of a wet weather driving incident and need to learn more about your options, you should speak with an attorney.