We all know that “April showers bring May flowers,” but spring showers also bring something far less desirable and more dangerous: An increase in car accidents.
While weather conditions like snow and ice certainly make driving riskier than rain, data compiled by the Federal Highway Administration show that more fatal accidents occur each year from rainy conditions and wet roadways than snow, ice, and fog combined. And with most parts of the country experiencing more rain in the spring than in the summer months, the springtime can be an especially dangerous time for drivers. Let’s take a closer look at the factors that contribute to this trend.
More Drivers on the Road
As the snow melts and the temperatures warm up, more people tend to hit the road for family outings, vacations, or just to enjoy the weather. More drivers on the road increase the risk for accidents in general, but even more so on wet roads, which tend to have less traction.
Slicker-than-Expected Road Conditions
The first 10-15 minutes of a rainstorm are typically the most dangerous for drivers because dried oils and dirt left on the pavement can make the road unexpectedly slippery until the rain washes them off completely. With the first rains of spring, this danger may be worsened because of leftover salt and sand left on the roads from winter storms.
Many drivers simply underestimate the risks associated with wet roadways compared to other, more obvious conditions like snow or fog. As a result, these drivers often treat wet roadways the same as dry roadways, not realizing that it only takes one-tenth of an inch of standing water on the road to cause hydroplaning (the situation in which tires lose traction due to too much water). When you add in oils left on the road after a dry period, the risk of losing control of the vehicle goes even higher.
Of course, there are precautions you can take to be safer on wet roads, including slowing your driving speed, allowing more time for braking, and keeping a wider distance from other drivers. However, we can’t control what other drivers do—and sometimes, their mistakes or carelessness can lead to injury or death. If you have been injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence—or if you have a loved one who has been injured or killed in this way—we can help you get much-deserved compensation to help make you whole again. To schedule an appointment with one of our personal injury attorneys, give us a call today.