Driving in the rain can be an exercise in frustration. There is an adage that anytime water falls from the sky, people forget how to drive. There are, however, many physical dangers that result from driving in or right after a rainfall that can make driving every bit as treacherous as driving on snow or ice-covered roads, and drivers should take extra care not to end up in an accident situation.
Liquid Sunshine and Road Film
"Liquid Sunshine" is a slang term for rain in areas that have many cloud-covered days; when liquid sunshine combines with road film, is a major danger to motorists. But what exactly is road film? Road film is an oily coating that covers the road and gets on your car, which results from the accumulation of oils and fluids that leak from other motor vehicles on the road. When these fluids combine and mix with rain, the conditions can be slick and dangerous.
Remember that oil and water don't mix. Oil tends to rise to the surface and create a "slick" on water. When you combine these slicks with the oil that also gets all over your tires, there is a heightened chance of losing control of your vehicle due to a lack of traction.
What to Do When Traveling on Slick Roads
If you are driving on a wet road and find yourself starting to slide or skid, the worst thing you can do is panic. Try to stay calm and understand that the procedures for avoiding an accident are similar to those when driving on snow or ice. If you start to fishtail, steer into the slide rather than away from it, and take your foot off the gas (but don't slam on the brakes). If you have anti-lock brakes on your car, once you regain control, press down firmly on the brakes to slow yourself down. If you have an older car that doesn't have anti-lock brakes, pump the brakes steadily when you have regained traction. It's also a good idea to flip on your blinkers so people know that they should avoid your vehicle as best they can.
Timid is as Dangerous as Aggressive
Many people blame aggressive drivers for accidents on the road, especially those that involve road film and oil on wet surfaces. We can all remember situations when someone in an SUV who thinks they are invulnerable drives at 70 miles an hour on a hydroplane down the fast lane. But the truth is, overly timid drivers can be just as dangerous. These people drive excessively slowly and as such create traffic backups and set themselves up as an obstruction to traffic. These types of drivers are also prone to panicky decisions like sudden brake-slamming and swerving. In general, if you are afraid to be on the road at any time, you shouldn't be on the road.
Injured In a Weather Related Accident? Contact Our Firm Today!
There are many factors that go into a weather-related accident and which can determine fault, liability, and your ability to collect damages. If you are involved in an accident, whatever the weather, you should give us a call for a free consultation. We can definitely help you out.