Most people realize that if they’re driving while it’s pouring down rain, they can be at an elevated risk of being in a car accident. However, many people do not realize that even a light rain shower can cause an increase in car accidents. In fact, one study shows that when it rains – no matter how little, the increase in car accidents goes up by more than one-third.
There Are Certain Times of Day and the Year That Are Even More Dangerous
If this isn’t bad enough news, consider that there are some parts of the day that are more dangerous. Researchers noted that the morning rush hour, in particular, is the most dangerous part of the day. They also point out that winter is the most common time at which there is a serious increase in car accidents after light rainfalls.
The Facts of the Study
The study in question looked at past radar data to determine the weather during nearly 200,000 fatal accidents throughout the United States from 2006 through 2011. They found that the risk went up from 25% and 146%, depending on various factors. The study found that light rainfall often makes drivers believe that they are in no greater danger than if it were dry out.
The fact of the matter is that it is dangerous to ride in the rain because tires lose traction. As the asphalt gets wet, the water mixes with the dirt and makes it harder for tires to stay on the road. The rain can make everything slippery and can puddle up on the road, which leads to hydroplaning. They also pointed out that rain can decrease visibility, which is another way that the chance of serious car accidents can increase. For these reasons, even slight rain can have a big impact.
How to Drive More Safely in the Rain
Does this mean that you cannot drive if it has been raining at all? Of course not. However, there are steps you can take to be as safe as possible. First, keep in mind that the first few hours of rain are the most dangerous. This is because the rainwater is actively mixing with oil on the road. Eventually, that oil will be moved away but the initial phases can be treacherous.
Second, make user that you are always using your headlights when it is raining. The general rule of thumb is that if you have to use your windshield wipers then you should be using your headlights. If you are injured in a car accident, whether it’s raining or clear, then you should get immediate medical attention, contact the police, and reach out to a personal injury attorney. You can reach The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 602-340-0030 today.