Despite being known as the Sunshine State, Florida is actually one of the leading states in the U.S. for rainfall each year. Additionally, rain is a contributing factor in thousands of automobile accidents (and accompanying injuries) each year. Below are some ways that Florida drivers can reduce the associated risk the next time they are driving in the rain.
Many of the factors that will enable you to drive safely in the rain can be accounted for without having to leave your driveway. Always make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition and do not leave streaks when they clean the glass, and make sure that all exterior lights (whether they be headlights, taillights, turn lights, or brake lights) are functioning properly. The first and most important defensive driving technique for rainy conditions is to ensure that other drivers can see you. Also, make sure you have your vehicle’s lights turned on when driving in the rain.
Properly Maintained Vehicles & Equipment are the Best Defense against Inclement Weather
Also, it is of the utmost importance that your tires are in good condition and are properly inflated. The risk of hydroplaning (a loss of traction that occurs when layers of water builds between the wheels of the vehicle and the road surface which prevents the vehicle from responding to control inputs) is far greater during rainstorms.
Drivers should avoid using Cruise Control in the rain. While this feature is helpful and convenient in dry conditions; when used in the rain, it greatly increases the odds that a vehicle will lose control because it doesn’t leave the driver with the proper amount of control necessary to quickly reduced speed based on traffic and road conditions.
While this seems like an obvious suggestion, drivers should proceed more slowly when driving in wet conditions. Slow driving during rainfall reduces the chances that a driver will hydroplane. It also simply means that if a vehicle begins to lose control due to hydroplaning, it will already being doing so at a slower speed. Even when proceeding as slowly as 35 mph, new tires can still lose contact with the roadway and begin to hydroplane.
The combination of reducing speed, avoiding hard breaking and avoiding sharp turns greatly reduces the chances of hydroplaning. Further, drivers should allot plenty of stopping distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them so as to allow for additional braking distance. Lastly, drivers should begin to slow down for turns and intersections earlier than usual.
Even when a driver has a great deal of experience driving in wet conditions; it is difficult to avoid skidding. Once a driver begins to feel his or her vehicle skidding, he or she should, continue to steer in the direction in he or she wishes to go and avoid braking quickly, as this will have the opposite intended effect and upset the vehicle’s balance making it harder to control. And most importantly, do not panic.
Essentially, caution is the key when driving in rainy conditions. Maintain your vehicle, drive slowly, avoid braking hard or making sharp turns, and allow ample distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of yours.
Contact a licensed Florida Personal Injury Attorney for advice. Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is able to provide zealous representation of injured parties that have been affected by the negligence of other drivers. Contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation by calling 727-451-6900.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765