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Driving in Wet Weather: Risks and Liabilities

This time of year in the metro-Atlanta region is usually wet and rainy.  This kind of weather not only puts a damper on holiday activities, but can also make engaging in any other activity more difficult than normal.  For instance, driving in wet weather is always more dangerous. The roads are slick and slippery, and visibility is impaired, all of which makes for very challenging driving conditions.  If you can, it’s always best to avoid driving in stormy weather. You should be driving in such weather only in case of an emergency.

Driving in wet weather means having to adjust your driving to accommodate for the rough road conditions, the bad weather and poor visibility. Whether you are driving in light showers or in the middle of a rain storm, it’s important to be cautious and modify your regular driving for the difficult challenges facing you. Unfortunately, most drivers drive on auto pilot, meaning that they don’t take into consideration the changes in the environment and conditions around them that could place them at serious risk of an accident.

Poor visibility during wet weather is one of the more dangerous conditions that can affect your safety during driving. You should always turn on your headlights and keep them on when you’re driving in wet weather, or even when it’s overcast.  This will not only increase visibility for you in this weather, but will also make your car more visible to other motorists.

Avoid driving through moving water. If you can’t see the ground beneath the water, don’t drive through it.  Another very real danger when driving in heavy rain is the risk of hydroplaning. This occurs when your car’s tires lose traction with the road, leading to the vehicle losing contact with the road for a few seconds. The vehicle can skid, resulting in a crash.

Turning off the cruise control function when you are driving in the rain may help avoid hydroplaning. Cruise control will not help you if your car hydroplanes. In fact, it might actually cause your vehicle to go even faster, seriously increasing your chances of an accident. There is also a very real risk of a rollover accident when the vehicle hydroplanes.

It should be obvious to stay at safe speeds while driving in the rain. Remember, that posted speed signs are meant to apply when the weather and other driving conditions are normal. In adverse weather conditions like during rainy weather or a storm, stick to a lower speed limit, and don’t just rely on the posted speed limits.

Keep a safe distance from your own car and the vehicle in front of you and don’t tailgate any large cars or trucks in front of you. The water spraying from their cars will lower visibility for you, increasing your risk of being in an accident.  And remember that sudden braking will only cause your car to skid in wet weather which can often result in a rear-end accident.

It is also important to remember that bad weather may not insulate you from liability if a car crash is caused by your negligent or unsafe driving.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, talk to an Atlanta car accident lawyer at the Katz Law Firm, and discuss your case. You may be eligible for damages that include medical costs, lost wages and diminished earning capacity.

 

 

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