While wintry weather in Portland brings the occasional snowstorm, drivers are more likely to face driving in wet, rainy conditions. This can make roads slippery and cars hard to handle, increasing your risks for car accidents and injuries. To protect yourself and your passengers, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers, as well as driving tips to help get you to your destination safely.
Weather-Related Car Accidents
While reckless driving behaviors, such as speeding, driving under the influence, or driving while distracted, increase your accident risks, adverse weather conditions play a significant role as well. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), of the nearly six million car accidents that occur each year in the United States, weather was a factor in more than 20 percent.
While most people associate snow with dangerous driving conditions, the fact is that rain can be even more treacherous for motorists, increasing their car accident risks. Impacts drivers are likely to experience in wet weather include:
- Slippery road surfaces;
- Decreased tire traction;
- Limited ability to see the road or other drivers;
- Increased headlight glare and distortion;
- Poor vehicle maneuverability and response times;
- Increased risk of hydroplaning and losing control of your vehicle.
Along with the rain, fog and washed out roads can make driving even more dangerous, increasing the likelihood of car accidents resulting in serious and potentially fatal injuries.
Tips for Driving in Wet, Rainy Conditions
The latest Portland Traffic Safety Reports from the Bureau of Transportation indicate that roughly 44 drivers lost their lives in car accidents during 2016, while hundreds more suffered serious injuries. In addition to avoiding dangerous driving behaviors that put you and others on the road at risk, it is important to use extra caution when driving during wintry weather conditions.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) recommends that drivers follow these tips when dealing with rain and wet, slippery roads:
- Avoid cruise control: Using cruise control during rain is a bad idea. Without the ability to adjust your speed, you run a greater risk of skidding or hydroplaning.
- Go slower: Depending on the amount of rain, you may need to go 10 to 20 miles per hour slower than the posted speed limit.
- Avoid tailgating: Give other drivers plenty of room to navigate. Braking ability is reduced on wet roads, and following others too closely can increase the risks of a rear-end collision.
- Stay calm: If you find yourself hydroplaning or going into a skid, stay calm, avoid slamming on your brakes, and continue to steer in the direction you want the vehicle to go.
When Accidents Occur, Our Portland Attorney Is Here to Help
Contact the Johnston Law Firm to get the professional legal representation you need when car accidents or injuries do occur. Our Portland car accident attorney will thoroughly review your case and can advise you on your options in terms of seeking compensations. Call or contact us online today and request a free consultation.