Our beautiful city of Houston has seen quite a bit of rain in recent weeks and we’re likely to continue seeing some heavy storms throughout the rest of the summer.
While a bit of rain can help to relieve us of that grueling summer heat, driving in the rain is another story. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, on average, there are nearly 5.9 million motor vehicle accidents each year. Of these, approximately 21 percent – about 1,235,000 – are weather-related.
Tragically, nearly 5,000 lives are lost and over 418,000 individuals are injured in weather-related crashes each year. The vast majority of these crashes happen on wet pavement and during rainfall.
These shocking statistics highlight the importance of driving safely during a rainstorm. Always be extra vigilant when behind the wheel to avoid a serious accident.
But even the safest of drivers can suffer at the hands of a negligent motorist. If you are involved in an accident during rainy weather, contact the experienced and trustworthy Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns.
9 Driving Tips to Stay Safe During Summer Storms
Preparation, patience, and a little common sense can help to keep you safe when traveling in heavy rain. Always avoid negligent driving behavior and always wear your seatbelt (passengers should too.)
- If you feel uncomfortable driving in the rain, don’t. Postpone your trip or commute until the weather improves. There is no reason to put yourself – or your loved ones – in danger if weather conditions are not favorable.
- Before hitting the road, make sure that all your important equipment is in good working order. Headlights and tail lights should be working properly. Your windshield wipers should also work efficiently. Streaky windshield wipers can make it difficult to see in heavy rains.
- Your tires play a very important role in your safety. Regardless of the weather, a balding tire can greatly reduce your traction on the roadway. When you add rain into the mix, you are greatly increasing the likelihood of hydroplaning, which is when you slide uncontrollably on a wet roadway. Make sure your tires have enough tread to keep you safe when driving during a storm. If not, consider purchasing new tires as soon as possible.
- When driving in wet weather conditions, you’ll want to slow down considerably rather than driving at your normal speed. This is especially true on highways where dangerous individuals will want to push the boundaries of the speed limit. Stay in the slow lane and keep an eye out for speeding drivers.
- Make sure to keep your headlights on when driving in stormy weather. This will allow you to see a little better while also increasing your visibility to other drivers on the road.
- In wet conditions, keep a greater distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you. It’ll be a bigger challenge to brake so you’ll want to give yourself some additional time. Also, avoid slamming on the brakes to avoid hydroplaning.
- Avoid standing pools of water on the roadway whenever possible as they can cause you to hydroplane. If you happen to begin hydroplaning, take your foot off the gas slowly and gently guide your vehicle in the direction it needs to go. Avoid slamming on your brakes.
- Avoid using cruise control in stormy weather. You’ll want to have full control of your vehicle, your eyes on the road, both hands on the wheel, and be fully aware of your surroundings.
- Never use your cell phone or other device when driving in heavy rain. Use your common sense and keep both hands on the wheel in case you need to take action. Don’t allow a simple glance at your cell phone lead to a tragedy.