With a series of major rainstorms targeting our region, our Sacramento accident law firm wants to remind our clients and others in our region that rainy weather poses significant and very real dangers for motorists. Reporting in the midst of the storms, The Sacramento Bee cited numerous problems on Wednesday, the first day of the multi-day storm system. Despite the fact that rain was not extremely heavy, the day saw many spin-outs and fender-benders as well as flooding due to clogged storm drains. One major accident occurred on Interstate 5 where a big-rig truck jack-knifed and collided with the center divider, causing thirty gallons of diesel fuel to spill onto the roadway and closing portions of the road for hours.
While Wednesday saw numerous crashes, thankfully no serious injuries were reported. However, it was only the start of the storm system that is expected to bring larger amounts of rain in the coming days with predicted rainfall totaling up to fifteen inches in some areas. This forecast makes it important for even experienced motorists to keep wet weather driving safety in mind before heading out in the storms.
Avoiding Skidding & Hydroplaning in Rainy Weather
Safe driving becomes even more important in stormy conditions. As The Weather Channel notes in one of their safe driving fact sheets, skidding and/or hydroplaning are frightening and dangerous possibilities during wet weather. Drivers can prevent skidding by moving slowly and carefully, particularly when navigating curves. Braking hard increases the skid risk so drivers should use a lighter touch and brake slowly on wet roadways with mild pressure on the pedal. If you start to skid, ease off the gas and steer carefully towards the direction you want to take the front of the car. This may take turning the steering wheel multiple times before the skid ends. You should avoid braking if your car does not have anti-lock brakes. If you do have an ABS-equipped vehicle, you should brake firmly while steering into the skid.
Hydroplaning, the topic of another Weather Channel tip sheet, can be especially frightening. This occurs when the water in front of your tires builds up faster than your car can push the water away, causing the vehicle to rise and slide on a film of water. Good tire tread and properly-inflated tires are key to preventing hydroplaning. As with skidding, proceeding slowly and avoiding puddles is key and driving in the tire tracks of the car in front of you can also help. If you do find yourself hydroplaning, avoid braking or sudden turns that could spark a further skid. Ease your foot off the gas pedal, allowing the car to slow until you are able to feel the road surface again. If you need to brake, use light pumping action if you do not have an anti-lock braking system. If you do have ABS, brake normally and the car will automatically pump the brakes as needed.
Representing Victims of Negligent Drivers in Any Weather
Inclement weather increases the risk of accidents, but bad weather is not an excuse for negligent driving. If you were involved in a weather-related crash due to another driver’s failure to exercise due caution, you may be entitled to damages in civil court. Our Sacramento injury attorney works with experts who can determine the root causes of an auto accident. If negligent or careless driving contributed to the accident and your injuries, our team can prove it and Attorney Brod can help you get the compensation you deserve.
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