A lot of people are caught off-guard by slick road dangers, particularly if it has been dry for a while in your area. You can get accustomed to stopping, starting and cornering on perfectly dry roads, and can get a big surprise when road conditions turn wet and slippery. It's a fact: it takes a great deal longer to come to a stop on wet surfaces, and if you fail to take those wet roads into consideration you could find yourself either causing a wreck, or hit by another driver. Read on to learn more about taking precautions a rainy days.
Common Rainy Day Problems on the Roads
While a heavy downpour can reduce visibility to a dangerous level, there really doesn't have to be that much water on the roadway to cause problems with driving. A quick passing shower can mix with oils on the roads to create deceptively slippery road conditions. Here are a few common driving errors that drivers engage in that can create problems when the roads get wet and slippery:
1. Following too closely: This is a common issue no matter what the weather, but if drivers fail to leave enough space between cars, both when traveling and when stopped, you are just asking for collisions when the roads are wet. Your tires have more trouble grabbing onto the road surface when it's wet, which leads to skids instead of stops. Experts recommend that you stay at least 3 seconds back from other vehicles, even when the weather is perfectly dry. Be even more cautious on rainy days.
2. Driving too fast: Just because the speed is marked 45 mph doesn't mean that you must go that speed. When the roads are wet slow your speed to account for the slippery conditions and the reduced stopping power.
3. Taking turns too fast: Cornering places an even greater burden on your tires in wet weather, and tires that would normally grab the road and hold you throughout your turn can suddenly begin to release, causing you to lose control and end up in places where you had not planned, such as into other cars or even off the roadway entirely.
4. Failing to maintain your safety equipment: Even if you have not used your wipers in a while, they can deteriorate and become virtually useless on rainy days. Set up a reminder to replace wiper blades every so often so that they'll do a better job of clearing your windshield of rain. Your visibility is already reduced, so don't take chances with your wipers. Additionally, turning on your headlights ensures not only that you can see better, but that other drivers can see you.
The Presumption of Fault
Rear end collisions are common when the weather turns wet, and it is usually presumed that the driver in the rear is at fault when they hit the car in front of them. It only makes sense, you have no control over the actions of other drivers, so if they hit you due to their own carelessness, they are at fault. This holds true even if you were forced to hit your brakes suddenly; the responsibility to pay attention and slow down in heavy conditions is shared by everyone.
There are, however, as many rainy day wreck scenarios as there are drivers on the road, and it may not always be immediately apparent who was at fault in an accident. Consider this: You are entering an intersection and apply your brakes, as does the driver behind you. The third driver back is not paying attention, however, and hits the driver behind you, pushing that car into you. These chain-reaction type crashes pose a problem for insurance claims, since there may be more than one driver at fault and fault may be shared. In most cases, you will need the help of a personal injury attorney to help you sort out the mess and get the compensation that you are entitled to. Contact a business like Law Offices of Michael Dye for more information.