Millions of cars and trucks travel our nation’s roads and highways every year, resulting in thousands of accidents that cause serious injury or death. Many factors contribute to these high numbers according to accident lawyers, with wet and slippery roads being a significant contributor. It is important that drivers understand the significance of road conditions on vehicle control to avoid dangerous situations and prevent crashes that could turn deadly.
Wet and Slippery Road Hazards
Although a little precipitation may not seem particularly hazardous, it can be a huge problem for drivers depending on road construction, road condition and vehicle condition. In the state of Texas alone, there were over 13,000 crashes in 2013 attributed to slippery, wet roads resulting from rain, sleet, or snow. These crashes resulted in over 1,800 serious injuries and over 150 fatalities1. All crashes cannot be prevented; however, accident lawyers report that having better informed and equipped drivers who know how to drive on slick, wet roads could prevent some weather-related accidents.
Reducing Wet Road Accidents
Using common sense is one of the best ways to prevent accidents on wet and slippery roadways. Drivers should always be alert to the possibility of slick spots, hydroplaning, and the faulty actions of other drivers. Such an effort can help to avoid involvement in weather-related accidents.
It only takes a few easy steps, according to the lawyers who help clients recover from auto accidents, to avoid driving mishaps, injuries and property damage:
Reduce Speed – If conditions warrant, reducing speed well below the speed limit can help prevent loss of traction from water or ice on the road. This is especially significant on winding roads, inclines and declines.
Increase Braking Distance – Braking distance must be increased when roads are wet. Hard braking can result in loss of traction as well as loss of control. This effect is heightened in heavier vehicles such as loaded tractor-trailers. Drivers of passenger cars should also keep this in mind and avoid driving in front of large commercial vehicles during wet weather events.
Pay Attention – Drivers must be alert to road problems, traffic signals and signs when facing poor road conditions. It is important to avoid situations that require sudden steering or braking on wet and slippery roads.
Sometimes a traffic accident is unavoidable even when drivers are attentive to all of these details. Accident lawyers point out that drivers who remain alert on wet or slick roads will be safer than those who do not follow safe driving advice. If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by wet road conditions, it is always wise to seek the assistance of experienced accident lawyers to help you sort through all of the details and receive proper compensation for your injuries.
1 Texas Department of Transportation, Crash Statistics 2013, “Weather Conditions for Crashes”