The Lexington Herald Leader reported on a traffic accident that shut down Northbound I-75 in Scott County for three hours because of an 11-car pile-up. The traffic accident was the result of water ponding near the 121-mile marker that caused drivers to lose control of their vehicles due to hydroplaning. People were injured and 10 of the vehicles were damaged severely. Driving while it is raining or after a recent rainstorm can present unique and dangerous situations for drivers. As this story indicates, an accident can happen at any time. It’s important to understand basic safety measures for driving in rainy weather.
Even if you can maintain control of your vehicle in the rain or if the rain is light, you should reduce your speed. It takes longer to come to a stop on wet pavement when you apply the brakes than it does on drive pavement. Even a light mist can be enough to make the roads slick.
Turn Your Lights On
Many newer vehicles come equipped with daytime running lamps or automatic headlights that turn on without human intervention. However, if you don’t have such a feature, manually turn on your headlights any time you have your windshield wipers on, on a cloudy day, or anytime when visibility is reduced.
Maintain a Safe Distance
Increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you when it’s raining. You don’t want to be too close to the vehicle in front of you if the driver loses control of his or her car. By increasing your distance from the vehicle in front of you, you have more time to stop your vehicle to avoid a collision should the vehicle in front of you begin to hydroplane.
Don’t Hit the Brakes
If you start to slide, take your foot off the accelerator, but don’t slam on the brake. When you apply pressure to the brakes, it can cause your car to continue to spin. Instead, turn the steering wheel in the direction you are turning rather than away. This is opposite of many people’s instincts, but it can prevent your car from going into a spin.
Avoid Standing Water
Avoid driving through standing water, especially if you aren’t sure of the depth of the water. Never drive through water that is moving.
Check Your Vehicle
Inspect your tires to make sure they still have plenty of tread. Worn tires are more likely to lose traction on slick pavement causing your vehicle to hydroplane. Also, check your windshield wipers and replace wipers that appear to be worn.
Stop Your Vehicle
If you’re driving in rain and the rain becomes too heavy to see through your windshield, slow down and pull your vehicle over to the side of the road. Wait until you can see clearly again before getting back on the road. A few minutes’ delay is far better than getting into a traffic accident.
Keep Your Focus on the Road
Shut off the radio and don’t answer phone calls, even if you have hands-free communication, when you are driving in the rain. You want to eliminate any distractions so you can focus on the road.
Above all, be careful and avoid driving in heavy rain as much as possible.
Contact A Lexington Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact the Lexington car accident attorneys of the Shelton Law Group. You can reach our office by calling 1-888-761-7204 or by using our online contact form. Our Lexington personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and case evaluations.