Published On: Mon, Apr 4th, 2022

How Your Risk of a Car Accident Increases During Inclement Weather

Photo by Lukas Rychvalsky from Pexels

Any unusual weather situations increase the risks of a fatal car accident. According to the Federal Highway Administration, increased risk conditions include heavy rain, snow and ice, visibility impairment like fog, high winds and extreme temperatures affect vehicle performance and your ability to drive safely. In addition, extreme weather can affect engine performance, traction, maneuverability, stability, pavement friction, roadway infrastructure and traffic flow.

Moreover, a recent study conducted and published by scientists at the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society found that every level of rain intensity caused deadly motor crashes. That includes annoying drizzles that make it difficult to decide whether to use your wipers. If you have been injured in a vehicular accident, you may consult with a personal injury lawyer or a car accident law firm to know how you can improve your chances of getting compensated for your injuries.

A new study shows precipitation of every intensity substantially increases the risk of deadly motor vehicle crashes. These crashes are among the leading causes of accidental deaths in the United States and claim about 35,000 lives each year. The study concluded that any precipitation increases the risk of a fatal crash by 34%. Other findings of the study include:

  • Weather-related accidents claim 35,000 lives each year.
  • Rain increases the likelihood of accidents in the early morning.
  • The risk of a fatal crash increases during the winter months.
  • Most fatal accidents occur in the Northern Rockies and upper midwest area of the United States.
  • Precipitation levels and intensity are steadily increasing in the United States.

The research postulates that climate change might increase the dangers. For example, increased precipitation and exposure to downpours are expected to lead to higher crash rates.

Your Duty of Care

Despite these trends, drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely in all weather conditions. That means slowing down, concentrating fully on your driving, checking weather reports, and following some tips and rules: 

  • Avoiding distractions and focusing on your destination
  • Recognizing that bridges and overpasses freeze first
  • Never try to outrun a storm or tornado
  • Watching for fl]ying debris
  • Staying alert for flash flooding
  • Turning on the low beams and fog lights when needed
  • Make sure that every passenger is buckled up on every trip
  • Turning off cruise control
  • Waiting out severe weather in a safe space
  • Braking cautiously
  • Using your headlights in rainy conditions helps to increase your visibility to other cars and satisfies many state regulations that require headlight use.
  • Keeping your windows clear in bad weather is critical for safe driving by cranking up the defroster and using AC settings in muggy weather.
  • Avoiding certain types of driving in bad weather makes sense – such as driving trailers, vans, SUVs, and trucks in high winds.

You might face even more weather extremes like sandstorms, fog, slushy pavement, snow, ice, and blowing dust when traveling. If you have an accident, stay calm, call the police, and get medical assistance. Afterward, contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Orlando for advice, as the issue with liability is tricky. Even if the bad weather led to your accident, it is your responsibility to operate your vehicle safely in all weather conditions. However, discussing your case with a semi truck accident attorney might reveal you have various legal options, including bringing a civil lawsuit against the trucking company or the truck’s parts manufacturer if they are found liable in your accident case. 

Commercial drivers have become increasingly busy in the post-Covid-19 atmosphere of increased deliveries. Commercial drivers should watch for possible rollovers because vehicles with a high center-of-gravity are subject to rollovers in high winds. Don’t forget to assess weather conditions before each delivery. Snow, ice, rain, hail, blizzards, and even the scorching sun are equally dangerous for all road participants, including truck drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, car drivers, and even pedestrians.

In addition, all trucks are susceptible to high winds, which can cause drivers to veer out of their lanes. If you lose or damage your cargo, pull off the road carefully. Contact police, and get them to divert traffic before attempting to recover the cargo while placing flares around your vehicle as an additional warning.

Myriad Weather Hazards

Your best bet is to drive defensively at all times while paying close attention to changes in the weather. According to meteorology experts, weather-related accidents kill more people than large-scale disasters like tornadoes, flooding, and hurricanes. During the period from late fall to early spring, all-weather hazards might come into play. You could face snow, ice, rain, freezing rain and foggy conditions on the same day. Just do everything to drive safely and protect the others on the road. A new york t-bone accident lawyer can help you when you get into an unfortunate accident.

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As a journalist, Leland D. Bengtson dedicated most of his career to law reporting. His greatest

satisfaction is to convey legal matters to the public in a language that they can understand.

He is active on various platforms and media outlets, writing about common legal issues that

people confront with every day. While medical malpractice is his strong suit, Leland covers

plenty of other topics, including personal injury cases, family law, and other civil and even

criminal legal matters.

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