Driving in the rain or snow can be a challenge. Poor visibility and adverse road conditions can lead to serious accidents. In Illinois alone, nearly 1,000 people died in 2015 as a result of traffic crashes.1 Since education is the first step toward prevention, it’s important to understand the risks of driving in bad weather and how to avoid losing control.
Hydroplaning and snow car accidents are some of the most common weather-related incidents. When a vehicle hydroplanes, it slides or skids across a wet road. It happens when the front tires lose traction due to excess water buildup. In other words, you hydroplane when your tires can no longer grip the road because the ground is too wet.
Hydroplaning car accidents can be among the most frightening. Since they often involve a complete loss of control, people can feel helpless behind the wheel. Thankfully, there are some basic safety tips you can follow to lower your risk of hydroplaning.
Anyone who drives in the rain or snow is at risk of losing traction. Since most of us drive in inclement weather, that means most of us face the threat of hydroplaning, and therefore of weather car accidents.
You are in particular danger when it first begins to rain. That’s because new rain mixes with oil and dirt residue on the asphalt to create an extremely slippery surface. After enough time, the rain washes away the oil, leaving the road less slippery. Those first five to ten minutes of rainfall are therefore the most critical moments and should be treated with caution.
Other factors, such as speed, tire tread depth, and water depth can also increase your chances of losing control. In order to determine your risk of hydroplaning, ask yourself a few questions:
The faster you go, the more worn your tires, and the deeper the water—the more risk you face.
The best way to prevent your car from hydroplaning is to slow down and drive carefully. By reducing your speed, you significantly reduce the odds of losing traction. Ensuring that your tires have sufficient tread is also critical. If you don’t know how to check the tread on your tires, take it to a professional and ask them for an expert opinion.
It goes without saying that you should never speed or drive recklessly at any time, but particularly when the weather conditions are unfavorable. Anything from drunk driving to distracted driving can dramatically increase the danger to yourself and to others.
Of course, sometimes even the best drivers temporarily lose traction when the roads are wet. If you do notice that your car is beginning to slip or slide, there are few things you should avoid doing. Specifically, do not:
Although some weather-related car accidents are unavoidable, others are the result of poor decisions. If you’ve suffered injuries in a crash because of the negligence of another driver, contact our experienced car accident attorneys today. We can help you evaluate your legal options and obtain compensation for your pain and suffering.
Since 1996, the Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates has been helping Car Accident victims, all injured victims and their families navigate the complex legal process. As experienced personal injury, worker’s compensation, auto accidents, compensated and wrongful death attorneys, we can help you evaluate the facts, assess your options, navigate the legal challenges, and advocate on your behalf. Marc J. Shuman & Associates has over 77 combined years of experience advocating for over 10,000 injury victims and their families recovering over 50 million dollars on their behalf. We advocate on your behalf, so you can focus on the task of recovery.