How To Stay Safe On The Road In Rainy Weather
While many people think of Mobile, Alabama as a bright and sunny city on the Gulf Coast, Mobile consistently tops lists of the rainiest cities in the United States, with a higher amount of average rainfall than even stereotypically rainy cities like Seattle and Portland. For drivers in Mobile, this high number of rainy days means that there’s a lot of time spent driving on wet and slippery roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an astounding 70% of accidents occur in wet and rainy conditions. Water on the road is extremely dangerous and can spell huge legal trouble if rainy weather is combined with driving under the influence. To stay safe, avoid an accident, or time in jail, read on for some of our top tips on how to stay safe on the road in Mobile’s rainy weather.
The First Few Minutes Of A Rainstorm Are The Most Dangerous
While consistent rainfall makes driving much more difficult, it is the first few minutes of rainfall that cause conditions that are most likely to cause an accident. Firstly, drivers are caught off guard and young drivers who may not yet feel comfortable in the rain can act irrationally. Secondly, the roads become especially slick in the first few moments of rain, especially if it hasn’t rained in a while. The dirt, exhaust, and oil on the road combined with the rainwater to make a slick grime that can send drivers spiraling out of control. Make sure to use caution and brake slowly to avoid an accident when suddenly caught up in rainy weather.
Remember That The Speed Limit Is A Maximum And That It’s Not Illegal To Drive Under It
Many people treat the speed limit as the rule of the road, for example only driving 45 miles per hour in an area with a 45 MPH speed limit. However, the speed limit is just that, a limit. There is no requirement to drive at that speed and driving at normal speeds in rainy weather can be much more dangerous due to the decreased visibility and increased slickness. A good rule of thumb for rainy weather is to decrease your speed by at least 10 MPH, or up to a third. This can make the difference between staying safe and ending up in an accident.
Replace Your Windshield Wipers
Having good windshield wipers is key for keeping as much visibility as possible to stay safe on the road in rainy weather. However, most people don’t realize that windshield wipers become less effective over time and need to be replaced. They are made of rubber which can become brittle and crack over time, making them less effective and reducing your visibility. Many professionals recommend that windshield wiper blades need to be replaced every twelve months but, depending on the kind of climate you live in, the heat and sun can degrade them faster and they may need to be replaced sooner. At the very least, inspect your wipers every six months to check for signs of degradation.
Don’t Be Deceived By Depth
While most people explicitly avoid flooded roads, a water depth of only three inches can be just as dangerous as a fully flooded road. According to the National Safety Council, drivers can lose control and begin hydroplaning in only a few inches of water. If the water is covering the markings on the road, it is deep enough to be dangerous. When approaching any amount of water on the road be sure to go slowly and drive with extra caution to avoid an accident.
Getting into an accident during rainy weather can do serious physical and legal harm, but it doesn’t have to, with the help of Tim Fleming Law. Tim has been helping clients with difficult car accident cases in Mobile and Baldwin County for over 30 years. If you have suffered an injury due to a car accident in rainy weather, or are facing legal trouble for causing an accident, you need to contact Tim Fleming Law today.