Driving in the Rain

Northeastern Pennsylvania is no stranger to the rain, especially this time of year. In short, rain reduces our visibility, response time, and ability to control our vehicle, which increases the risk of car accidents. Let’s take a look at some safety tips to minimize the risks of an accident and injuries while driving in the rain.

  • Check your tire pressure and tire tread. A properly inflated tire that has adequate tire tread depth is essential to good traction when traveling along a wet roadway or highway. Worn treads are more likely to lose traction on a wet surface and cause a vehicle to hydroplane.
  • Make sure your windshield wipers are in working condition. If your vehicle’s windshield wipers leave streaks or you do not have a fully unobstructed view, get the wipers replaced.
  • Check to make sure your car’s headlights, brake lights, tail lights, and turn signals work properly. Having working lights is essential when driving in rainy weather.
  • Drive 10-15mph slower than the speed limit and give yourself some extra time to get to your destination. Reducing your speed when driving in the rain can help you retain control of your vehicle, reduce the risk of the vehicle hydroplaning, and allow more time to perform emergency maneuvers to avoid accidents.
  • Do not use your cruise control in rainy weather. Maintain as much control of your vehicle in adverse weather conditions as possible.
  • Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Pull over if necessary. In torrential downpours, or when wind-driven rain makes it hard to see the sides of the road, other vehicles or your surroundings, pull over to the side of the road cautiously and put your four-way warning lights. Wait it out until the rain lets up or until you feel comfortable proceeding.

The two most common causes of weather-related crashes over the most recently reported ten-year period have been wet pavements and rain. 

According to the Federal Highway Administration, rain accounts for:

  • 46% of all weather-related crashes.
  • An average of 595,900 vehicle-related crashes each year.
  • Injuries to approximately 245,000 people a year on average.
  • Fatal injuries to 2,876 people a year on average.

Even if you were doing your best to drive with care in the rain, accidents do happen. While these tips cannot guarantee you will not be involved in an accident, they can reduce your risks significantly. If you are injured while driving, regardless of the weather, contact our team of attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.

Source: https://www.defensivedriving.org/dmv-handbook/drive-safely-rain/