Here in Ohio, nearly 15% of accidents occurred in rainy conditions in 2011, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS). Driving in heavy rain is a concern for Ohio and Kentucky drivers, especially during the early morning commute, the peak time for rainfall in the Ohio River valley. While the best option to prevent an accident is to avoid driving altogether, sometimes it isn’t an option to stay home when bad weather is a factor.
Heavy rain can create many hazards and become a fatal force on flooded roadways. A downpour can affect visibility, pavement and vehicle performance, and as drivers, we must adapt to the weather and road conditions or we could become a danger to ourselves or other motorists.
The Cincinnati auto accident attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy have seen many devastating car wreck cases that resulted from driver error during thunderstorms or heavy rain. Our compassionate team of attorneys is here to help the citizens of Ohio and Northern Kentucky that have been involved in weather-related accidents. If you or a loved one suffered injuries at the hands of another driver during inclement weather, call us today.
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Thunderstorm Driving Hazards
Unfortunately, many motorists downplay the presence of rain on the roadway; however, even light rain causes roads to become slick and subsequently, dangerous in some instances. Although conditions may seem safe, it is unwise to drive as if there were no precipitation. It is important for drivers to make adjustments to their driving habits to accommodate the weather.
Torrents of rain can appear suddenly, and in heavy rain and thunderstorms, there are many hazards to be aware of, including:
- Hydroplaning / aquaplaning
- Flooded areas
- Limited visibility
- Slippery roads
Slippery roads and standing water reduce your vehicles traction and make it easier to get into an accident. It is imperative to practice caution when driving in heavy rain and other poor weather conditions.
Tips For Driving In Heavy Rain
These dangers are present not only for you, but motorists sharing the road as well and while you cant control how others respond to rainy weather, you can take steps to decrease the likelihood that you’ll be involved in a weather-related collision.
Follow these tips to practice safe driving in thunderstorms and heavy rains:
- Increase your following distance
- Expect longer brake times; brake at a slower pace than usual
- Always use your headlights
- Depart early to allow for longer travel times
- Drive in the center lane to avoid runoff
- Avoid puddles
- DO NOT engage cruise control
- Defog windows for maximum visibility
- Follow the tire tracks of the vehicle you are following
- Maintain your vehicles tires, wipers and lights regularly
- Pump brakes after driving through standing water to test function
- Use low beam headlights; high beams cause glare
If you are driving in rainy weather in Northern Kentucky or Ohio, it is perfectly acceptable to use your hazard lights to increase your visibility for other drivers. Under any circumstances, you should PULL OVER if you feel unsafe behind the wheel. Severe rains can make it impossible to see the vehicle in front of you and create extremely dangerous driving conditions.
If you are involved in a car crash while driving in heavy rain, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options for legal recourse.