What Is the Most Dangerous Driving Condition? Rain is the most dangerous driving condition.

Rain is one of the most dangerous driving conditions. While snow, ice, fog, and other weather conditions have their own hazards associated with them, the driving condition that causes more accidents in the United States is rain. This is according to data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), which estimates that 47 percent of weather-related collisions every year involve rain. Annually, the agency attributes more than 357,300 injuries and 3,400 fatalities to rain.

Though rainfall itself can increase the likelihood of an accident, other parties can contribute to these collisions through negligence. When this happens, you could hold someone responsible for your injuries and damages.

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Why Rain Is Dangerous

Precipitation affects the roadways in multiple ways. For example, rain is often dangerous because it makes the roads slick, especially if it has not rained in some time. Oil residue builds up on the roadways and, when mixed with water, creates a slippery surface. If your tires have started to wear, they may lack the traction needed to securely grip the road. 

According to the FHWA, other dangers of driving in the rain include:

Impaired Visibility

Additionally, rain can substantially impair visibility, which can easily lead to accidents. In some cases, even windshield wipers are not enough to combat heavy downpours. Splashing from passing cars or going through large puddles on the roadside can further hinder visibility during a rainstorm. 

Risk of Hydroplaning

Another complication rain can cause is lane obstruction. If rain is falling too fast for drainage systems to keep up, the sides of the road can quickly flood, creating the conditions for hydroplaning. When a vehicle hydroplanes, its tires leave the road momentarily and glide on top of the water. This lack of traction can cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle, potentially sending them spinning. 

Sudden Change in Traffic Patterns

When a severe rainstorm arrives, many drivers will reduce their speed and generally drive more cautiously. While this is often the safest option for handling this weather condition, this sudden change in the traffic pattern can catch other motorists by surprise. Coupled with reduced traction on the road, these conditions can lead to rear-end collisions and similar accidents.

Lack of Driver Preparedness

Also, most people do not think that rain is as dangerous as ice or snow, and therefore, do not take as many precautions or drive as carefully during rain. According to an Auto Insurance Center report, even Alaska has more deadly crashes due to rain than snow. 

Therefore, it is important to note that intentional recklessness or extreme weather conditions are not necessary for a tragedy to happen on the roadways. Another driver could cause an accident in the presence of rain by:

  • Failing to reduce their speed to account for the increased dangers
  • Driving recklessly to account for changes in traffic patterns
  • Overcorrecting the steering wheel when their vehicle begins hydroplaning
  • Following too closely to account for additional stopping distance
  • Not putting on their headlights to increase their vehicle’s visibility

What to Do When Driving in the Rain

All drivers will find themselves driving in the rain at some point. Here are some precautions to take to ensure your safety during this dangerous driving condition.

  • If possible, wait until the weather improves, and the rainstorm passes.
  • Ensure your car’s equipment is in working order, including your tires. Balding tires reduce traction on wet roadways.
  • Drive slower than you normally would, as the roadways are dangerous, and your reaction time is much slower.
  • Turn on your headlights to allow other drivers to see you more clearly and increase your own visibility.
  • Use your windshield wipers, even in light rain.
  • Keep a greater distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you than you normally would.
  • Refrain from breaking quickly or heavily, but rather slow your vehicle down gently by removing your foot from the accelerator much earlier than you would in normal weather conditions.
  • Do not use cruise control when it is raining.
  • Never drive through any standing water to avoid the risk of hydroplaning.
  • If you do hydroplane, take your foot off the accelerator, steer in the direction that the front of your car should go, and avoid slamming your brakes.
  • Control the fog within your car by either using your car’s ventilation system or cracking the window slightly. If you are unable to see out of your windows, make sure to pull over and wait until you have visibility.
  • If you can see that there are “tracks” in the road from the car in front of you, attempt to follow them.
  • Always grip the steering wheel with both hands, and never text and drive, even if it is not raining.
  • Be extra cautious when changing lanes and merging.

While taking these precautions won’t always prevent accidents, they can reduce the risk that you will be responsible for a collision.

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Proving Another Party Liable for Your Car Accident

Drivers are responsible for responding to changes in road conditions to keep the roads safe – this includes severe weather, like rainstorms. When they fail to take these precautions and an accident occurs, these drivers can be liable for the resulting damages. 

If you experienced a collision during a rainstorm because of another driver’s actions, an attorney from our firm can help uncover evidence of their negligence. Alternatively, we could hold a road maintenance crew or local government liable if the road was not prepared to handle rainy conditions. 

There Is a Filing Deadline for Personal Injury Lawsuits

While not always necessary, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for car accident injuries. In Florida, you only have four years to do so for injuries and two years for wrongful death. You’ll want to act quickly to ensure your lawyer has time to build a compelling case and advocate for your financial recovery.

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Contact Our Firm to Hire a Car Accident Attorney

If you were in a car accident due to any type of dangerous driving condition, including rain, contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733. We may be able to help you determine if you have the right to receive compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.