Heavy summer thunderstorms and year-round rain create slippery road conditions throughout Florida, and even the most experienced drivers can be challenged by driving on wet roads.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in the rain, you likely want to know how much responsibility you hold for what happened.
Working with an experienced Florida car accident attorney to make sure you don’t bear more than your share of the blame for a crash under rainy road conditions is important. Eltringham Law Group is experienced with car accident cases that involve complex fault determinations and can help you maximize your settlement. Call 561-944-6568 or contact us online today to set up your free consultation and find out what your legal options are going forward.
What Makes Drivers Lose Control in the Rain?
Wet roads can create dangerous driving conditions for several reasons. Here are the more common causes of accidents in the rain:
This happens when water gets between a vehicle tire and the road, preventing the tire from contacting the surface and leading to a loss of control. Sometimes drivers overcompensate when they feel their cars begin to hydroplane, which can cause an accident.
You can minimize hydroplaning and its effects by:
- Keeping your tires in good condition and properly inflated
- Not purposefully driving through standing water
- Slowing down in wet conditions
- Turning and braking slowly and deliberately
Vehicle equipment doesn’t work properly
Windshield wipers or brakes that don’t function properly are going to make driving in rain even more difficult. As a driver, it’s your responsibility to make sure your vehicle is functioning correctly — including its safety equipment.
If you have been maintaining your vehicle and suffer a sudden catastrophic failure of an important system in your car that causes an accident, you may be able to seek damages from the manufacturer.
Lack of caution
When conditions dictate, you may need to drive more slowly than you ordinarily would. Florida Statute 316.183 states that, “No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.” If a driver loses control, even if they’re driving at the posted speed limit, they may still be liable.
In addition to driving a safe speed for the conditions, you should keep a reasonable amount of distance between your vehicle and the car ahead of you, in case you need to stop quickly. Avoid using cruise control in the rain and engage in defensive driving, or keeping an eye out for other drivers without full control of their vehicles.
What Factors Impact Car Accidents in the Rain?
There are a couple of reasons why roadways become more dangerous in the rain.
- In the first few minutes of a storm, water can mix with natural oils on the pavement and create an especially slick surface.
- Sudden and intense rain from Florida storms can form areas of standing water on roads, which make hydroplaning more likely.
Drivers are responsible for being alert to changing conditions and watching for slippery roads and water over the roadway.
How Can I Reduce My Odds of Being Involved in a Car Accident in the Rain?
While you can make sure your vehicle is operating properly, your tires have plenty of tread and are inflated properly, and you’re driving a safe speed for the conditions, you can’t control what other drivers may do. Make sure you are driving defensively, using these principles recommended to driving professionals:
- Look ahead. Scan the road to see what’s in front of you and slow your speed around curves.
- Keep a safe driving distance. You should be able to count seven seconds between the vehicle in front and your car.
- Continuously scan. Don’t focus in one place for more than two seconds and check your mirrors frequently so you are aware of those around you.
- Find a possible “out.” Look for places you can move to in case of a hazard, such as an open spot in an adjacent lane. Don’t get boxed in.
Contact Us After a Weather-Related Car Accident in Florida
Even if you drive with caution and are aware of your surroundings, you may be involved in an accident that’s not your fault. The attorneys at Eltringham Law Group have handled numerous cases involving car accidents in the rain. We can help you get compensation for your medical expenses, vehicle damage, lost wages and more. Call 561-338-0420 today or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.