Be Aware of Wet Weather Accidents in Hampton Roads
The heavy rain that has blanketed Virginia over the last few days will continue into the weekend. When there is standing water and slippery roads, drivers should be aware of the dangers of wet weather accidents in Hampton Roads.
Rain has already brought extensive flooding to neighborhoods in Virginia Beach and elsewhere in Hampton Roads and anything from 2 to 4 inches of rain will fall in the region over the next few days, forecasters at the National Weather Service in Wakefield said.
We know deluges can quickly flood roads in low-lying parts of Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach and make them impassable.
Drivers can quickly become trapped in rising floodwaters when this happens.
Even if you avoid floods, wet roads are particularly dangerous. Stopping times are longer and vehicles can hydroplane in wet conditions.
Wet roads can diminish your ability to maintain control on the road surface.
After and during showers we see many wet weather accidents in Hampton Roads. According to AAA, wet pavement contributes to about 1.2 million traffic crashes every year in the United States.
The U.S. Department of Transportation states wet roads are responsible for 74 percent of weather-related crashes, while snow and sleet are the cause of just 17 percent of weather-related crashes.
The water from the rainfall is only part of the problem. Oil and other lubricants end up on the pavement too. Rain loosens these slippery substances, mixes them and spreads them over the road. When you are driving after a rain shower, you move across a thin film of oil, water, and grease that reduces the traction of your vehicle and is more likely to cause a skid.
Hydroplaning can occur on wet surfaces but many drivers don’t understand the concept.
What is Hydroplaning and How Does it Cause Wet Weather Accidents in Hampton Roads?
When a car, truck or motorcycle hydroplanes, the vehicle’s tires experience a loss of traction with the road. The vehicle goes into a skid over the surface of the water on the road.
Although most vehicles are equipped with traction control as well as anti-lock brakes to keep the tires on the road and help you regain traction if hydroplaning occurs, it may still occur if enough water builds up on the road surface causing puddles. You should keep your speed down to avoid the risk of hydroplaning.
You should avoid areas of standing water on the pavement. However, even small amounts of water on the highway may cause your vehicle’s tires to skid and send you into a hydroplane that prevents you from steering or braking, leading to an accident.
Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers has published an infographic on tips for driving in wet weather conditions. If you are driving on wet roads.
1 Be seen.
Make sure your headlights and taillights are on and your brake lights and turn signals are working properly.
2 Be Inflated
Make sure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure. Deflated tires will give you less grip on the road. Check your tire pressures at least twice a month.
3 Don’t Cruise
Don’t use cruise control in wet conditions. You have less control. If you hydroplane when using cruise control, your car can suddenly accelerate to a high rate of speed.
4 Don’t Speed
You are more likely to hydroplane at a high speed and will have less control of your vehicle. You should decrease your speed by about a third in wet weather. When traveling at 70 mph, expect an average overall stopping distance between 315 – 320 feet. That’ more than the length of two football fields.
5 Don’t Brake Hard
Sudden and hard braking movements can lead to a loss of control in wet weather. Maintain a steady braking pressure but avoid sudden braking on wet roads.
We know plenty about the dangers of wet weather driving but we still see many wet weather accidents in Hampton Roads, including in my home city of Chesapeake.
Take care on the roads during or after storms or at any other time. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident caused by the fault of another driver, please call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.