Avoiding Wet Weather Car Crashes in Las Vegas
While it is hot for much of the year in Las Vegas, we still get rain, particularly in the winter months, which are rapidly approaching. Wet weather crashes in Las Vegas are a serious risk to local and out-of-state drivers after any amount of rainfall. Statistics show that rain causes more crashes across the U.S. than any other type of weather. That said, there are steps you can take when driving in the rain to help avoid a crash. If another’s reckless driving caused you to get hurt in a crash on rainy roads, High Stakes Injury Law is prepared to help. Take advantage of our free consultation to get answers to your questions from one of our qualified Las Vegas traffic accident lawyers.
What Dangerous Conditions Can Cause a Wet Weather Car Crash?Rain can increase the risk of a car crash for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Reduced traction on the roads: Even when the rain is not heavy, it is enough to loosen surface oils spilled by vehicles that have built up on the road during dry weather. These oils, along with the rain, create an extremely slick surface that reduces your tire’s traction on the roadway.
- Limited visibility and worn out windshield wipers: Visibility is already limited due to the rain. If your windshield wipers are also in bad condition, it makes it harder to see and respond to potential road hazards caused by the weather.
- Inexperience or poor driving skills: Another reason wet weather car crashes may often happen is when drivers ignore the slick roads and take little precautions, despite the weather. On the other hand, newer drivers may be more likely to have a crash simply because they have had less experience driving in rainy conditions.
- Hydroplaning: If a vehicle is traveling too fast over rainwater that has built up, it can cause the car’s tires to lose contact with the road. Once this happens, drivers can easily lose control while the vehicle slides over the water. This is one of the most dangerous hazards that can cause a wet weather car crash.
Who is Liable for a Crash Due to Wet Roads in Las Vegas?Many drivers may mistakenly believe that if they are in a crash under rainy conditions that they can blame it on the weather. However, drivers still owe a duty of care to maintain control of their vehicles while taking steps to protect others from harm. For example, say a driver is traveling too fast during a heavy rainstorm, hits a large puddle, hydroplanes and crashes. In that situation, he or she would likely be fully liable for the damages. The accident occurred because the driver did not take the hazards caused by the weather into consideration. In short, when wet weather car crashes occur, the negligence of those involved determines liability.
How to Avoid a Crash While Driving on Rainy RoadsDriving safer on rainy roads is not rocket science, but it does take preparation and practice. Here are a few tips to help you protect yourself and others if you have to drive in the rain:
- Put on your low beam headlights: Using these lights will help other drivers to see you more quickly, helping them to avoid accidentally hitting your vehicle. Do not use high beams in this situation, as they may temporarily blind oncoming drivers and cause a crash.
- Turn your cruise control OFF: Using this feature in poor weather conditions gives you less control if something goes wrong. To avoid causing a wet weather crash, it is critical that you turn and keep your cruise control off.
- Reduce your driving speed: Reduce your speed enough to reduce the risk of hydroplaning, respond to unexpected hazards and maintain control of your vehicle.
- Stay in the inside traffic lane: Avoid traveling in the outside lanes as they often collect the most rainwater. Also, it is hard to tell while driving just how deep a puddle of water may be. The inside lanes typically have the least amount of collected water. Remember that they are still slick, however, and stick to a safe driving speed.
- Never slam on your brakes: In rainy conditions, this is extremely dangerous. Instead, maintain a steady speed and allow more distance from the vehicles in front of you. If you do need to slow down, lightly tap your brakes rather than slamming them down. In addition to warning the driver behind you, it will also help to keep you from sliding.
- Set your windshield wipers properly: Setting a speed that is too slow will reduce your visibility, while setting them too fast can be distracting.
- Drive defensively: Be prepared for drivers to make mistakes. For example, expect the vehicle speeding up on your right will dive into your lane, and probably without signaling first.
- Allow more time to reach your destination: Often this one step helps drivers to avoid the temptation of driving too fast or taking other unnecessary risks.
- Plan your route before setting off: While staying off the roads during rainy weather is best, it may not always be possible to do that. If you must travel, plan the safest route, one that preferably is not in disrepair and has better lighting.