Winter has officially arrived in Portland. Wet, rainy conditions have become the norm in recent weeks while the weather forecast warns of potential snowfall in areas surrounding the city. For residents accustomed to adverse weather at this time of year, it is still important to be aware of the risks. As the chance for weather-related car accidents steadily increases, take the steps needed to protect yourself and your passengers against potentially serious personal injuries.
How the Weather Increases Your Car Accident Risks
The Weather Channel is forecasting a run of hazardous conditions over the next few months. Portland residents can expect winter storms to bring plenty of wind and heavy precipitation while significant amounts of snow are expected in the surrounding region. For those running errands, heading to and from work, or enjoying recreational activities over the weekends, it is important to be aware of the forecasts and how it is likely to impact traffic and driving conditions.
Adverse weather is a leading cause of car accidents and injuries. While snow and ice create obvious hazards for motorists, the risks associated with downpours are often downplayed. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), of the roughly 1.3 million weather-related car accidents that occur each year, more than half occur as a result of wet, rainy roads. Impacts you need to anticipate as a driver include:
- Limited visibility with increased glare from traffic lights and other vehicles;
- Reduced ability to respond to sudden changes in traffic or road conditions;
- Increased likelihood for traffic tie-ups and delays, increasing general car accident risks;
- A greater tendency towards hydroplaning or skidding, causing you or other motorists to lose control of your vehicle.
These hazards increase the chances of both individual car accidents and multi-vehicle pile-ups. To reduce your risks, recognize the dangers that wet weather poses and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and others on the road.
Winter Weather Driving Tips to Prevent Portland Car Accidents
One of the biggest ways to reduce your car accident risks over the winter months is to reduce your driving speed. Avoid going too fast and consider driving under the speed limit when rainy weather causes road conditions to become treacherous. The American Automobile Association (AAA) recommends these additional steps to help prevent car accidents:
- Avoid distractions while driving and keep both hands on the wheel at all times;
- Give other motorists plenty of room and avoid aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating;
- Begin braking well in advance of tie-ups and traffic signs or signals;
- Avoid using cruise control, which increases hydroplaning risks.
If you do begin to skid, try not to panic. Avoid slamming on the brakes and keep steadily steering in the direction you want the car to go.
Let Us Help You Today
Despite taking precautions, crashes and collisions can still happen. When they do, the Johnston Law Firm, P.C. is here to help. To discuss your rights in filing a claim, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online to request a consultation.