Safe Driving Can Prevent Summer Storm Car Accidents in Michigan
Every time a person gets behind the wheel of a car, they accept a certain amount of risk. That risk is heightened, however, during the summer, and also is heightened when driving in inclement weather. A car accident lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C can advise you on how to proceed if you are involved in an accident due to poor weather conditions. Here’s what you need to know about summer storm accidents and how you can prevent them.
Weather events and driving statistics
The Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration has compiled a series of statistics about driving during inclement weather. They report that about one in five vehicle crashes is weather related. They define a weather-related crash as crashes that occur in adverse weather or due to slick pavement.
A large majority of weather-related crashes happen during rainfall and on wet pavement: 46% during rainfall and a whopping 70% on wet pavement.
Weather can impact driving mobility when problems like flooding obstruct lanes of traffic and decrease roadway capacity. On freeways, light rain can decrease the average speed of traffic up to 13%, and heavy rain can cause a decrease of up to 16%. Low visibility, which can be caused by heavy rain during summer storms, can cause a 10 to 12% reduction in speed.
Driving during a summer storm
Summer storms can come in quickly and heavily, leaving you little time to prepare or plan your route ahead of time. However, there are ways to reduce your risk of a car accident in this kind of situation.
Highways are a higher-risk area for car accidents, and especially with the reduced visibility that a storm provides. Traffic pattern changes due to other crashes can make the flow of traffic more unpredictable and can increase the risk of an accident even more. If driving in a summer storm, it is a good idea to consider taking a route that does not rely on a highway if possible but avoid backroads that are prone to flooding.
When driving in a storm, it is essential to remember that the higher your speed, the harder it will be to brake without hydroplaning while driving in the rain. The slower you brake, the less likely you are to hydroplane and increase the risk of losing control of your vehicle. In inclement weather always increase your braking and stopping distance.
Being aware of your surroundings is also key when driving in less than ideal conditions. Turn down your music, put your cell phone away, and do your best to drive without distractions or interruptions.
Keeping space between yourself and other vehicles is also a key element of safe driving during a summer storm. Best practice in pleasant weather suggests keeping one car length between yourself and the car in front of you for every 10 miles per hour your speed increases. In inclement weather always increase your braking and stopping distance, it is wise to add an extra two to three lengths when following this guideline.
In the summer, it is especially important to make sure both your windshield wipers and your tires are functioning correctly. If your tire tread is worn, you are more likely to hydroplane. Windshield wipers that don’t function correctly can also be a liability, as they can impede visibility.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a car crash in a summer storm that was not their fault, contact a car accident lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. at 1-866-MICH LAW (1-866-642-4529) to book a free consultation. Our law firm never charges a fee unless we make a recovery.