Rain And Driving: A Dangerous Combination In Miami
Rainy weather creates difficult driving conditions and it is important for people to understand these dangers and how to avoid them.
While Florida is known as a popular destination for retirees and vacationers in search of warm waves and a lot of sunshine, it also has a long rainy season May through October. During this time, thunderstorms and heavy rains can occur, causing havoc for drivers on the road. In Lehigh Acres, Wink News reported that heavy rain may have played a role in a recent fatal crash in which a vehicle pulled out in front of another one.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, rain was a factor in almost 600,000 crashes throughout the U.S. between 2002 and 2012. This makes rain a factor in 46 percent of all accidents related to weather causes. Wet weather impacts vehicle operation, traffic flow and roads, raising the risk of car accidents.
Rainfall can make it harder for drivers to see. If people don’t replace their windshield wipers, all they may see is just a sheet of water that keeps getting smeared across their windshield. Smart Motorist says that drivers should always turn on their headlights to help other drivers see them. Windshield wipers should be regularly checked and replaced.
Miami is known for heavy rainstorms in which sheets of water pour down for minutes at a time. In such situations, it is best for drivers to pull off to the side of the road until the rain lightens up. Lengthening the distance between cars can also help drivers avoid unnecessary splashes of water from cars driving through puddles and give them extra stopping time if there is an accident ahead.
Any amount of rain can make a road surface wet and slick. In these conditions, a vehicle’s tires may have a more difficult time retaining traction and begin to slide. This is called hydroplaning and, according to Smart Motorist, drivers are at a higher risk of sliding within the first 10 minutes of a rainfall when water mixes with oil residue on the road.
To avoid traction issues, drivers should immediately slow down and make sure that their cruise control is turned off. Water may gather in outer lanes so drivers should be on the lookout for any signs of standing water. If drivers cannot avoid driving through a puddle of water, they should do so slowly to avoid wetting their brakes. Hard braking is also discouraged as it can interfere with a tire’s traction on a wet surface and create a skid.
While most drivers in Miami may act cautiously and defensively in bad weather conditions, there are some who disregard these rules, posing a threat to others. When drivers act negligently, innocent people can get hurt. In such cases, victims may find it beneficial to meet with an injury attorney who can explain their rights and options.