Summer is right around the corner, and as already seen in South Florida’s recent weather the rainy season is upon us. According to the Weather Channel, the average annual rainfall for South Florida is around 59 inches per year, that of which 31 inches are expected to fall during the summer months of June and September. This means the streets and highways will not only be more wet but also very slippery, which brings about an increased danger of automobile accidents.
In 2010, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that over 32,460 car accidents were a result of wet and slippery roadway conditions. The majority of these car accidents are usually caused by the difficulty that rain presents in stopping, staying on the road or attempting to avoid a collision with another vehicle. One way that rain presents these difficulties is because when the road first gets wet, oil rises to the surface and creates a greasy surface. This in turn will not allow a driver to stop his or her car in time, which could lead to a serious or fatal car accident.
Here are some tips that may help prevent a car accident during this rainy season:
1. Drive at slower speeds, this should be obvious but many people choose not to do not this and end up driving recklessly. Though, by driving slower I do not mean way below the speed limit but really just slow enough that your tires still have significant traction. By doing this your tire traction will improve, which should allow for better reaction times and more time to brake.
2. Do not brake suddenly, stopping a car or truck to quickly may cause the vehicle to loose all traction with the road (being the roads are slippery and wet). This could cause the vehicle to hydro glide or skid, which could eventually lead to a car accident. If this does occur most experts suggest neither to panic nor make any sudden turns to the steering wheel because if you do this could lead the loose of control to be even more dangerous. Instead, the best thing to do is stay calm and just hold the steering wheel straight until the driver feels the car has regained traction.
3. Always keep your eyes on the car ahead of you, while also staying a safe distance away. This will allow you to watch any drastic reactions made by the driver of the car ahead of you. As the driver you should be thinking when he or she brakes I am braking as well. Although, keep in mind that sudden braking should be avoided. If you keep a safe distance from the car ahead of you while also being conscious of that driver’s reaction this should allow you to have enough time to break slowly avoiding any dangerous skidding.
As a driver in South Florida, wet and slippery conditions are not my only worry because I also have to account for those drivers who seem to automatically forget how to drive in rainy conditions. Being that both Miami-Dade and Broward County lead the state of Florida in car accidents all drivers should keep in mind the many risks of driving during the next couple of rain filled months.
The South Florida car accident attorneys at Aronfeld Trial Lawyers specialize in investigating and protecting the rights of those involved in a car accident. So, if you or a family member is involved in an automobile accident caused by the rain this summer feel free to contact our experienced attorneys for a free consultation. Our Florida firm has over two decades of experience, and we look forward to providing you with great service and advice about your case.
Guest Blogger: Adrian Miguel, St. Thomas University Law School.