Southern California Driver’s Guide to Preventing Wet Weather Accidents
The rainy season is coming to Southern California. Did you know that rain is responsible for thousands of accidents every year? Most wet weather accidents are preventable, but often drivers don't realize that driving in heavy rain requires a bit of extra caution.
Why is rain dangerous?
1. When asphalt is wet, the film of the water on the road comes between the tires and the roadway. This causes the wheels to lose traction and a car can be difficult to maneuver or even spin out of control.
2. It’s hard to see in the rain.
The Orange County car crash attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie have compiled a list of ten tips to help you drive safely in wet weather.
1. Be especially cautious if it hasn’t rained for a while. During a dry period, engine oil and grease build up on the road. When it rains, the oil is mixed with water, and the road may become extremely slick.
2. Keep your car well maintained. Make sure that your wipers work and that your tires have plenty of tread to prevent skidding.
3. Any time it rains, turn on your headlights. This increases your visibility. You may also use fog lights if your car has them.
4. Defog your windows by turning on both the front and rear defrosters and the air conditioning. This will prevent condensation from fogging your windshield so you can see.
5. If it is raining hard and you can’t see the car in front of you, pull over and wait the rain out.
6. Don’t drive through deep puddles, standing water or running water. A car can wash away in just a few inches of water. if you see a large puddle up ahead, either drive around it or choose a safer route. If you must cross a puddle, tap your brakes a few times afterwards to shake off the excess water.
7. Allow plenty of following distance. Brake earlier and with less force than you normally would. This increases your car’s stopping distance and lets other drivers know that you plan to slow down.
8. Watch for pedestrians. Soaked and miserable pedestrians may be thinking more about getting warm and dry and managing an umbrella than watching the road. They are also harder to see in the rain.
9. Don't use cruise control. If you hydroplane, your car may actually accelerate.
10. If you start to hydroplane, don't brake suddenly or turn the wheel, or you might spin into a skid. Instead, release the gas pedal slowly and steer straight until your car regains traction and stops hydroplaning. If you must brake, gently tap the brake pedal. If you have antilock brakes, you can brake as usual.
We wish you safe driving.
Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie represent those injured in California car crashes and truck accidents. If you have been injured in an Orange County car accident, and need an attorney, we can help. Download our guide, “Avoid Lawyer Advertising Hype! A Lawyer's Method for Finding a Lawyer” for more information. If you have additional questions, contact our Newport Beach law office at 866-981-5596.