Motor vehicle accidents account for thousands of deaths in the United States each year. During 2018, 36,560 people died in motor vehicle accidents. While the causes of traffic accidents vary, poor weather conditions play a factor in many crashes. A recent study indicates that even light rain can pose a significant risk for fatal traffic accidents. Our California car accident attorneys take a closer look at that study in this article.
Weather Conditions Can Increase the Risk of a Car Accident
Rain of any intensity can increase the risk of a car crash. Precipitation on roads can decrease the traction of your tires making it easier to lose control of your vehicle. Less traction between the road and the vehicle’s tires also increases stopping distance, which can lead to rear-end accidents if drivers are not cautious. Rain can also decrease visibility for drivers, thereby leading to an increase in the chance of an accident.
Most drivers automatically slow down when it is raining or there is water on the roads after rain. However, some drivers may not slow down as much if the rain is light. They might assume that light rain does not pose as much of a risk as heavy rain. However, the recent study suggests otherwise.
Light Rain Can Increase Your Risk for a Car Accident
The study, which was published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, examined 125,012 fatal traffic accidents between 2006 and 2011. The researches specifically examined the weather conditions present during each of the traffic accidents. They used radar data for the date, time, and location of each accident to analyze the link of precipitation to car crashes, including the intensity of the precipitation. What the researchers discovered may be surprising to some drivers.
Researchers discovered what they expected — the risk for a fatal car crash increases when precipitation is falling. Likewise, they found that the heavier the precipitation at the time of the accident, the greater the risk of a fatal traffic accident. However, the researches also discovered that even light rain can increase the risk for a fatal traffic accident by 27 percent. The risk increases even more in the winter because snow typically poses a greater driving hazard than rain.
Who is Responsible for a Car Crash During Rainy Weather?
Even if weather conditions are a factor in your accident, discuss your case with a car accident lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries, losses, and damages. Poor weather conditions may only be one factor that contributed to the cause of the crash. If the other driver was following too closely, driving too fast for conditions, or was guilty of other errors or negligence, that driver can be held liable for damages even though the weather might have also been a factor in causing the collision. Drivers have a duty of care to take steps to avoid causing a car crash, including slowing down and adjusting their driving during periods of inclement weather.
Contact a California Car Accident Attorney for More Information
The cause of a car accident can be difficult to determine. Several factors may contribute to the cause. Drivers can be held liable for any portion of fault they might have for the cause of the crash. Contact our California car accident attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your claim and your options for seeking compensation for damages.