California’s typical rainy season begins in late October and lasts well into March, making hazardous wet-weather driving conditions a periodic concern this time of year. However, this year, El Nino is expected to produce unusually wet conditions following four years of drought, a combination that could result in torrential downpours, flash flooding, and potentially deadly mudslides.
Excessive wintertime rainfall can occur unexpectedly and without warning, and is a primary cause of car accidents, injuries, and fatalities on California’s roadways each year.
For example, a California driver recently suffered a fractured hip, broken leg and two fractured ankles after another motorist hydroplaned on a flooded highway and struck the driver head-on.
In another incident, a female pedestrian was struck by a taxi driver on a rainy, foggy afternoon in San Francisco. The driver was unable to see the woman crossing the street through a thick layer of fog. The woman suffered irreversible brain damage from the incident and has since filed for full disability benefits.
Because the risk of deadly car accidents is elevated during the rainy season, its imperative for motorists to understand and follow these important safety tips while driving in rainy conditions.
Driving too fast is the number one cause of car accidents during rainy weather. If you are driving on the roadways during a rainstorm, be sure to slowly decrease your speed and proceed cautiously.
A car can hydroplane if a thin layer of water builds up between the cars tires and the road. To help prevent this from occurring, align you vehicles tires with the tire path left by the vehicle in front of you. Any excess water on the road has already been displaced by the other drivers tires, making it easier for your tires to gain appropriate traction. However, be sure to follow all other vehicles at a safe distance and never tailgate.
If your car does hydroplane, grasp the steering wheel firmly and gently apply your brakes. When you feel the tires gain traction, continue slowing down until you regain full control of your vehicle.
Fog often accompanies rain. When driving in foggy weather, turn on your cars low beams and reduce your speed. Remember that fine water droplets from the fog can accumulate on your windshield, decreasing visibility. Use your windshield wipers intermittently.
When driving in dense fog, turn off your radio and open your window to listen for traffic. If your windshield begins to fog on the inside, keep your window open and turn on your vehicles air conditioner. This will help reduce humidity and help whisk away moisture collecting on the window.
Even the most cautious drivers can be involved in a rainy weather car accident. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a car crash during wet weather, contact a reputable Sacramento car accident attorney at the Arnold Law Firm today. For more than 30 years our trusted Sacramento personal injury lawyers have been protecting the right of injury victims throughout Sacramento County.