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What Weather Conditions Cause the Most Car Accidents?

May 9, 2022Car Accidents

Car accidents happen every day, but certain types of weather make them more likely to occur. Operating a vehicle in snow, high winds, or on icy roads can be problematic, but rain is responsible for the most weather-related accidents.

Why Driving in the Rain is Dangerous

There are several reasons why rainy conditions and wet roads are so dangerous to drive in:

  • Poor Visibility: Visibility can be drastically reduced in heavy rain, making it more challenging for drivers to see hazards or judge distances between their cars and other vehicles.
  • Hydroplaning: Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle’s tires no longer have traction due to wet road surfaces, which causes a loss of control of the vehicle. Roads are slickest in the first ten minutes of rainfall because oil and grease in the ground can create a film that causes the tires to lose traction easily.
  • Speeding: Drivers often fail to adjust their speed for wet roads and rain. Therefore, they can quickly lose control, increasing the chances of hydroplaning and the likelihood of a rear-end accident.

Other Types of Hazardous Weather

Other weather conditions can affect visibility and create dangerous road conditions that contribute to collisions. Rain is the most troublesome for drivers, but others include ice, snow, sleet, fog, wind, debris, and sand. These conditions can lower visibility, making it difficult for drivers to identify obstacles and hazards in their path. They also increase a vehicle’s stopping distance, reduce traction, and make it more difficult to maintain control. In addition, heavy winds or snow can cause debris to land on top of vehicles or on the road. For example, tree limbs can break or power lines may fall. When these hazards are combined, there is a significantly higher risk of an accident.

How to Prevent a Weather-Related Car Accident

The best way to prevent a weather-related car accident is to avoid driving in hazardous weather conditions. However, if that is not possible, be sure to slow down, pay attention, and take precautions. For example:

  • Don’t brake suddenly. If you feel your car beginning to slide, resist the urge to brake suddenly. Take your foot off the gas and turn the wheel in the direction you are skidding while gently tapping the brake.
  • Stay focused on the road. Driving in dangerous weather requires your full attention even more than usual. Put away anything that can distract you, such as your cell phone or food.
  • Slow down. Since vehicles will require more time to slow down, drive at a slower pace to ensure you maintain control of your vehicle and can stop when necessary.
  • Increase following distance. Double the space you would typically keep between your car and another vehicle. Also, avoid driving side by side with another vehicle.
  • Keep headlights on. Your car will be more noticeable when your headlights stay on.
  • Winterize your vehicle. Prepare your car for cold weather by installing snow tires and special windshield wipers.

When the weather plays a role in an accident, figuring out fault can be challenging. However, the driver who caused the accident can still be liable since there are most likely actions they could have taken to prevent the collision.

Call us today to speak with our St. Louis car accident attorneys.

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