The spring season can bring plenty of rain and adverse weather to the Houston area and greater Gulf Coast. Being a safe driver is absolutely essential to protect yourself and others on the road.
This is especially true when you consider that on a yearly basis more than 1.2 million crashes occur because of weather-related issues. Even more startling is the fact that 73% of these traffic accidents occur on wet pavement and a total of 46% happen during rainfall.
With rain being the deadliest weather driving hazard, it’s vital to be extra vigilant when you get behind the wheel on a bad weather day. Negligent driving can easily lead to a serious accident – or even worse. If you’ve been hit during rainy weather, you can find support and guidance from our experienced and trustworthy Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns.
Your dedicated legal team would also like to offer you a few tips when it comes to driving safely in heavy rain so that you can protect yourself and prevent a tragedy from happening.
9 Tips You Need to Know to Protect Yourself
With a little bit of preparation, patience, and the following driving techniques, you should be able to travel safely in heavy rain. Remember to use your common sense and avoid negligent driving behavior such as unnecessary speeding.
1. Avoid driving unless absolutely necessary. Unless you must absolutely head out on the road during bad weather, it is best to just avoid driving. Heavy rains will generally pass after a few hours and you should be able to continue about your day. While traveling to-and-from work, school, and home are reasonable enough, let the worst of it pass before you get behind the wheel.
2. Plan ahead for big trips. If you’ll be traveling out-of-town, it is best to look ahead at the weekly forecast and plan accordingly. You might be able to completely miss any heavy storms by taking another route. While it may add some additional time to your trip, it’s better to be safe than in an accident.
3. Check your vehicle before hitting the road. There are a number of items that you should generally check on before driving which can prove to be absolutely life-saving in bad weather. Making sure you have adequate tread on your tires is vital when driving on slippery roads. Your windshield wipers should also be working as required, and all headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals should be working right. Checking these basic components of your car can save you from a world of trouble.
4. Avoid slamming on your brakes. In good weather, slamming on your brakes can cause you to skid. In rainy weather, this type of behavior can lead to you hydroplaning and crashing into someone. To prevent this, slow your vehicle down by taking your foot off the accelerator earlier than usual to slow down before pressing the brakes.
5. Protect yourself when hydroplaning. There are a number of steps that you should take in case your car begins to hydroplane:
- One of the best measures to prevent this, though, is to drive in the center of the road. The sides of the roads are generally lower and allow for standing water to form in these areas.
- Should you begin hydroplaning, avoid braking as this can cause you to skid even harder and lose control.
- Stay calm, ease off the gas, and begin to gently steer into the skid. This maneuver can help you regain traction.
- When you regain some traction, some light counter-steering can help you correct the car.
- Should you need to use your brakes to avoid hitting another car, gently pump them until you have regained some traction.
6. Be familiar with your route. By knowing the path you’re traveling down, you should be able to avoid areas that are prone to flooding. If you’re new to the area, then use extra caution and give yourself extra time to get to your destination.
7. Slow down and leave room. Even driving at speeds lower than 35 MPH can cause you to hydroplane on slippery roads. There’s no reason for you to speed during a heavy downpour. Slow down and leave some distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. If it’s raining, it’s recommended you stay behind them by about 5 seconds. To do so, watch as they pass a marker you’ve set and then count to 5 seconds. If your driving in the rain at night, give yourself some additional time.
8. Use common sense and avoid using technology. Cell phone use while driving in good weather conditions is dangerous enough. Using mobile devices while its raining is asking for an accident. Use common sense and keep your eyes on the road ahead and both hands on the wheel. Don’t allow a simple mistake to lead to tragedy.
9. Keep your headlights on. Headlights and tail lights are great tools in rainy weather as they allow other drivers to see you clearly. Keep them on, even it’s just a bit of drizzle.
Rain is No Excuse for an Accident
It is your responsibility to use defensive driving techniques in adverse weather. With slippery road conditions, poor visibility, and potential nighttime driving all adding to poor weather conditions, you will want to take the previously recommended tips into consideration.
Negligent driving – whether you or another individual – can lead to a life-changing accident. Protect yourself and others on the road by following these simple guidelines.
Our Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns understand that even defensive drivers can be the victims of accidents caused by other negligent drivers. If you’ve been injured in a traffic accident, contact us today.
Unfortunately, not everyone works to be a safe driver. If you’ve been in an accident, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns at (713) 352-7767. We’ll fight to make things right and help you to obtain compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Let Lapeze & Johns guide you during your time of hardship.