How Driving in Harsh Weather Causes a Rise in Car Accident Claims

How Driving in Harsh Weather Causes a Rise in Car Accident Claims

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) some 22 percent of the 6 million car accidents which happen on our roads each year are caused because of bad weather. Whilst this may be the precursor to the accident however, it is the behavior of the driver in bad weather which causes such a high volume of collisions and crashes. The most common weather condition which prompts accidents is rain, mostly because many drivers won’t go out in heavy snow or ice, which is in essence much more dangerous. When car accidents caused by rain occur, it is because drivers have not taken into consideration the need to change how they drive.

There are many dangers which harsh weather conditions can bring about, and here is how driving in such conditions can cause accidents.

Braking Distances

When you brake on a wet or an icy road versus a dry road, the car or vehicle in which you are driving is going to take much longer to come to a standstill. It is alway recommended therefore that drivers take this into consideration when they are operating vehicle in bad weather. Unfortunately this is often ignored by drivers, who will get too close to other vehicles. When the time comes to brake of course, the reaction of the car is slower and that is where we see a lot of accidents occur.

Sliding Vehicles

Another issue is caused by vehicles which slide on the road and see the driver lose control of it altogether. This is more common when the roads are very icy, but it can also happen in wet conditions. Something which few people are aware of is the dangers of aquaplaning, which occurs when there is standing water on the road. Braking on this water can result in the car sliding over the top of the water and losing complete grip of the road surface below it.

Visibility Issues

We also see a large number of accidents which are caused by visibility issues which drivers have. This can easily occur when there is thick fog or heavy snow, but even in rainy conditions it can be an issue. This is not always the fault of the weather either, as there are many drivers who have not properly maintained their vehicles, who have dirty lights which restrict visibility or windshield wipers which don’t work well enough to clear the windshield.

High Winds

For larger vehicles like trucks or caravans, high winds can easily cause drivers to lose control. Because of the fact that the wind is not constant, the gales can easily cause drivers to have to correct the vehicle because of the power of the wind. Most accidents are caused by snaking vehicles which are trying to stay in control as the winds push them.

It is always important that you take note of the weather conditions before driving, and alter your driving style accordingly.

Ferne Dekker

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