Most people wouldn't be surprised to learn that driving in a torrential downpour can increase the risk of being involved in an accident, but a 2019 study published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society found that even driving in light rain makes serious crashes more likely.
Researchers at the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies reviewed information from more than 125,000 crashes that occurred between 2006 and 2011—along with weather radar data—to determine the effects of inclement weather on roadway safety. They found that rain can increase the risk of a fatal crash by 34 percent, while even light rain (described as a drizzle that might cause you to consider taking an umbrella) increases the risk of a deadly accident by 27 percent. Data analysis and meteorologist Scott Stevens, the study's lead author, said that while people often slow down in heavy rain, many underestimate the risk posed by light rain. Additionally, first rains of the season often lift oil from the roadway increasing the slickness of the roadway. Also, tires that function fine on a dry road, may not be secure to the roadway in the rain, thereby decreasing traction and increasing the likelihood of hydroplaning on wet roads.
Regardless of Weather, Drivers Are Required to Drive Safely at all Times
The study's findings certainly don't absolve motorists of their duty to drive safely, it actually indicates a need to increase safe driving practices in bad weather. Regardless of the weather, drivers are tasked with safely piloting their vehicles, and when they don't—and their negligence leads to an accident—the law allows victims to hold them accountable. If you were injured in a crash you didn't cause, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver (or other liable party), even if the accident happened in inclement weather. Additionally, if your family lost a loved one in a fatal crash, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim.
At the Inland Empire Law Group, our dedicated injury recovery professionals help California accident victims seek the compensation they need and deserve. We may be able to help you, too.
Talk to a Knowledgeable California Personal Injury Attorney
If you're injured, unable to work, facing unexpected medical debt, or lost someone you love in a crash caused by someone else's negligence, there's far too much at stake to go it alone. Our skilled attorneys can review your case and help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.