As long as the temperatures remain mild this winter, you may have little fear of driving, even if there is precipitation. You may be like many who worry about driving when the temperatures drop below freezing because road conditions may deteriorate rapidly. However, you may be interested in knowing that recent data reveals the most treacherous driving is not limited to snow or ice but includes rainy weather.
In fact, studies show that rainy-day accidents outnumber snowy-day accidents by nearly five times. Although Kentucky is not among those U.S. states with the most amount of rainfall, it is tragically among those with the highest number of accidents that occur when it rains.
If you drive in Kentucky when it is raining, you have a 1.51 per 100,000 chance of being in a traffic accident. In 2016, that averaged to 67 crashes resulting in 71 fatalities. That is the third highest rate of accidents among all 50 states. Meanwhile, the Bluegrass State has a much lower rate of traffic mishaps in the snow, not even ranking in the top ten of states with high crash rates.
You can take some of the following precautions on a rainy day, especially during winter when you will not know how quickly the temperature may drop:
- Make sure you have properly inflated tires and adequate tread to prevent hydroplaning in rain and slipping in snow.
- Perform necessary maintenance on your vehicle, including refilling fluids, changing non-functioning lights and replacing wiper blades.
- Reduce your speed in inclement weather, and keep a safe distance from other vehicles.
- Keep your headlights on when it is raining, and always use your turn indicators to warn drivers behind you of your intentions.
- Exercise patience with other drivers who may be nervous driving when the weather turns bad.
Of course, it is never a frivolous reminder to warn drivers of the importance of wearing their safety belts. Seat belts save lives and often reduce the chance of serious injuries in an accident, so it is wise to set the example and to insist that your passengers buckle up before you drive.
Other drivers must take care, too
You may take every precaution and still end up the victim of an accident, whether it is raining, snowing, day or night. When other drivers fail to use reasonable care, you and your passengers may be the ones who suffer the consequences, including serious, life-changing or fatal injuries.
If you are in this situation this winter, you have every right to seek legal counsel to learn about your options for pursuing justice for your suffering and loss.