It can be difficult enough to concentrate when driving in ideal weather conditions. When the clouds start to form and inclement weather begins, it makes it that much more difficult to navigate our nations roadways.
Its no surprise then that just over half of all auto accidents in Ohio occurred in bad weather in 2011, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Unfavorable meteorological conditions helped to cause just about 36,000 injuries and 400 fatalities.
If you or someone you love has been involved in an auto accident due to rain, snow, or other types of bad weather, the victim may be entitled to financial compensation for damages such as loss of wages, pain and suffering, medical bills, or damaged property. Here at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy, we have a team of highly skilled auto accident attorneys that can provide advice on how to move forward with proceedings.
Types Of Bad Weather
Most drivers understand that driving in extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes or blizzards, is not a prudent choice, but there are plenty of commonplace weather events that can affect road surfaces and ones ability to operate a motor vehicle.
These potentially dangerous weather events include:
- Fog or Smog
- Sleet or Hail
- Severe Crosswinds
- Blowing Snow
- Blowing Sand, Soil or Dirt
- Sun Glare
While most drivers do not view clouds as particularly threatening or dangerous, over 78,000 Ohio auto accidents in 2011 occurred during cloudy conditions. In fact, the statistics show that an accident is more likely to happen in cloudy conditions than in rain or snow.
Among statewide accidents in 2011, these are the top weather conditions reported during collisions:
- Sleet, Hail
- Fog, Smog, Smoke
Make sure to take extra care if you get caught on the road in any of these common weather events. It can be the difference between arriving to your destination safely and ending up in a costly accident.
Dangers Of Driving In Bad Wwather
While the best approach for driving in bad weather is to avoid it completely, there are times when that is simply not a viable option. Here are some of the most common dangers of driving in bad weather and tips on how to minimize your risk:
Visual Obstruction: A reduction in visibility is an almost inevitable effect of inclement weather. Rain, thick fog, smoke, falling snow and glare from sunlight can all make it difficult to see the road in front of you
What you can do: If your line of sight becomes obstructed while driving, pull your car over to the side of the road as soon as it is safe to do so. Sunglasses are recommended for year-round use in order to protect your eyesight and increase driving safety.
Slick Roads: During weather events, changes in road surfaces often occur. Rain, snow, sleet, hail, and moisture can all cause roads to become slick or even icy.
What you can do: If you find yourself in a situation where you are forced to drive on slick roads, avoiding distractions and increasing your focus on the road can help. You can also drive at a safe, moderate speed and make sure to keep a sharp eye out for patches of ice or large puddles through which you could end up hydroplaning. Braking on ice or while hydroplaning could cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle.
Loss of Motor Vehicle Control: A driver can lose control of an automobiles steering column in bad weather. This can occur on slick roads and during high winds.
What you can do: There are many techniques you can learn in a defensive driving course to help in the event of a loss of control while driving.
If you do find yourself on the road when severe weather strikes, often the optimum solution is to safely get off the road and find shelter. In cases where this is not a possibility, keep the dangers above in mind, slow down, and get to your destination safe and sound.