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Weather affects traffic wrecks more than you think. Slow down.

In an older study, but still very true published by the American Institute of Physics and Ivanhoe Broadcast News, researchers and statisticians found that 24% of all crashes occur during adverse weather conditions, including ice, snow, and rain. The research showed that most drivers do not account for adverse conditions created by rainy weather. They suggest slowing down and increasing the distance between traveling cars as a way to decrease the number of accidents in bad weather.

Each year, nearly 7,400 people are killed and over 670,000 are injured in crashes. But not all wrecks are because of driver error. Rainy weather can wreak havoc on highways. When a big storm rolls in, drivers tend to either slow down too much or not enough. Drivers need to be wary of driving in any change in the weather. A new study by transportation engineers reveals that nearly one-quarter of all crashes occur in bad weather conditions. Most happen on wet pavement.

“We found that more fatal crashes occurred in the south,” Lynette Goodwin, lead transportation engineer at Noblis in Falls Church, Va., told Ivanhoe. “This region experiences the highest rainfall totals. It also has a very high population.”

Unlike snow and ice covered roads that scare drivers into staying home or driving more carefully. Many drivers don’t consider rain as ‘bad’ weather, so more cars end up on wet roads, and drivers don’t slow down enough to avoid serious accidents.

The primary issues we see are accidents caused by diminished visibility, diminished traction and / or strong wind.

What is the law?

When hazardous road conditions involve bad weather, you MUST adjust accordingly. Turn on your lights, slow down, allow for longer stopping distances and be more cautious. This is what is reasonable. Proper adaptation and caution when facing poor conditions will have an impact on who is considered to be liable for that accident. All drivers are expected to exhibit a level of care and caution that a hypothetical average reasonable driver would show. We bring cases, rain or shine, against negligent drivers that cause wrecks and injuries.
John M. Phillips
Law Office of John Phillips