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Staying safe on the roads when a rare rainfall hits

| Jan 29, 2021 | Car Accidents |

Most of us in Southern California are grateful to see some rain after months of dry weather. However, we know that rain also brings problems, like flooding, roof leaks and car crashes. In fact, there are nearly four times as many car crashes on SoCal roads on days with rain as on dry days.

If you’ve already been involved in a car crash, getting behind the wheel again can bring on anxiety. Venturing out in the rain can be especially frightening. You may feel powerless against people who drive like there isn’t rain falling from the sky and those who seem to have forgotten how to drive at all when things get wet. However, you can improve your chances of staying safe if you watch out for and know how to deal with a couple of key dangers that rainy weather brings to San Diego roads.

Excessively slippery roads

When roads get wet for the first time after weeks or months of heat and dryness, they can get particularly slick. That’s in part because asphalt contains oil, and heat causes that oil to rise to the surface.

By driving at least 5 mph under the speed limit (more if traffic allows), you can help prevent dangerous skids. You should also allow a little extra space between your car and the one ahead of you. Instead of three seconds, there should be approximately five seconds between the time that vehicle passes a spot and the time you do.

Hydroplaning is dangerous

Hydroplaning can happen when there’s standing water in the road. When gutters are filled with leaves and debris, there’s nowhere for the water to drain.

When the water prevents your tires from touching the road, that’s hydroplaning. It can cause you to lose control of the car. You may not realize the water is as high as it is until you’re in the middle of it. If you start to hydroplane and your car skids, remember to steer in the direction of the skid. Don’t slam on the brakes, but keep a tight grip of the steering wheel.

Remember that rainy weather is no excuse for a causing a crash if a motorist wasn’t driving appropriately for the conditions. If you’ve been involved in a crash caused by another driver, be sure to seek the compensation you need. An experienced attorney can help you with this goal.

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