Because the greater Los Angeles area is not accustomed to the sizeable increase in precipitation we have witnessed this winter, many drivers are less experienced with driving in heavy rain. Not only the rain, but strong winds and fog can combine to make roads incredibly hazardous, and if you are less experienced when it comes to driving in inclement weather , it could result in an accident.
Even before the rain starts, you should always keep tabs on the level of wear your tires have. Edmunds.com recommends using a quarter rather than the customary penny to quickly determine if your tires have enough tread, stating:
“Insert it upside down into your tire tread. If part of Washington’s head is always covered by the tread, your tires have more than 4/32 of an inch of tread remaining. If the top of Washington’s head is exposed at any point, you should replace the tires.”
Even before your tire tread is down to 4/32 of an inch, which is when most people suggest changing your tires, you should consider having them rotated or changed out. Your tire pressure ought to be checked as well. Windshield wipers should be replaced if they become dry and cracked since this would render them ineffective.
A major concern in heavy rain in associated with hydroplaning, which can occur when a vehicle is moving too quickly through rainy conditions which then causes the tires to lose contact with the road. Drivers often lose control of their vehicle for a moment or two, just long enough to endanger their lives.
What could be almost worse than any resulting injuries stemming from an accident is the possibility of being held liable for the accident, meaning your insurer would be forced to cover the other party’s financial losses and you would be unable to collect any compensation.
Even though you can’t make other drivers do so more safely, you can protect your physical well-being and your right to recover compensation if you are injured by their negligence. Here are some simple tips on staying safe in rain.
Slow down—you need to reduce your speed while it’s raining and after the rain stops, while the road is still slick. The water means it takes longer for you to come to a stop, and making a turn becomes more hazardous with less contact with the road.
Drive in the middle lane—water usually collects in the outside lanes. Even if there doesn’t seem to be a lot of standing water in an outside lane, you could encounter a large pool of water with little warning.
Follow at a distance—you need longer to stop your vehicle, so make sure you leave plenty of room between yourself and the car ahead of you.
Protect your visibility—take note when following behind larger vehicles including buses and trucks which usually throw a lot of water from the ground into the air, potentially obstructing your vision.
Use your headlights—this not only improves your vision, but alerts on-coming traffic of your presence.
Replace your wipers—the windshield wiper blades can wear out over time, especially if you haven’t used them much. Your wipers can make a big difference if you are stuck driving in heavy rain.
Avoid standing water—specifically if you can’t see how deep the water is. You could potentially have your vehicle swept away.
Avoid distractions at all costs—your phone and other things can wait. You need to focus entirely on your driving.
In sum, leave early for wherever you’re headed if it’s raining outside so you can drive slower, and give the vehicle ahead of you more space than you would typically.
Even if you were doing your best to drive with care in the rain, if you were in an accident you cannot afford to go without a Los Angeles car accident attorney who can help you understand your rights according to the law and fight to protect them. Jacob Emrani has helped countless clients who were injured in car accidents and has recovered millions of dollars on their behalf to cover things such as hospital bills, property damage, and lost wages from your job if you have to miss work.