In Southern California, people often like to joke that there is only one
season: summer, or “hot.” The truth is, of course, that the
weather is more diverse than that, and even down here we can get unexpected
storms that turn roadways into slick danger zones. If it is an El Niño
year, the “wet season” might just become torrential. In order
to stay safe as you travel here and there in the rain, keep these basic
yet essential tips in mind:
No tailgating: Slippery roads mean a great many things, but mainly they mean braking distances
are vastly increased as tires skid atop the water, also called hydroplaning.
You absolutely must respect the 3-second rule and even consider expanding
it to 5-seconds or more.
Hydroplaning: Speaking of tires coasting on the water’s surface and not the road’s,
hydroplaning generally occurs at 50 miles per hour (MPH), or sometimes
as low as 35. To avoid this dangerous activity, stay reasonably below
50 MPH whenever you can. If the posted speed limit is 55, go 45 to maintain
control of the car.
Speed limits: And while we’re on the subject of speed, some Department of Motor
Vehicle driver’s training materials state that you should go 5 MPH
slower in the rain than you normally would. If the rainfall is more than
a sprinkling, consider going 10 or 15 MPH under the posted limits.
Defensive driving: For some reason, most drivers do drive more recklessly in the rain. It
is not even that the rain is causing them to lose control of their vehicles,
instead people tend to be hastier and make more unexpected movements.
Keep this in mind, be prepared to maneuver when appropriate, and do your
best to keep your own driving habits safe and defensive.
Wipers: Before we are in the middle of the wet season, test out your wipers. Are
they clearing your windshield effectively? Or are there big smudges and
wet spots? Replace them as necessary.
For all the good you can do by driving responsibly in the rain, there are
just as many ways a negligent driver can undo your safe practices. If
you are struck by another motorist and you do not think it was your fault,
you may have to bring a civil lawsuit against them to seek compensation
for the damages caused in the
Contact an Irvine car accident attorney here at The Law Offices of Thomas E. Rockett. With our 25+ years of experience
and unparalleled understanding of
personal injury case litigation, we are sure to increase your chances of maximizing your
714.701.8182 for more information.