It has been raining very hard in San Francisco Bay Area during this rainy season. The last couple of weeks was heavier than usual. Land slides, damaged properties and numerous car accidents on the road. During summer people get used to driving in constant dry conditions knowing that there will not be a drop of rain water on a freeway. However, when rainy season arrives and freeways and roads are being washed with the first drops of rain and old oil and grease from the vehicle turn the concrete on freeways into and ice skate ring. Californians loose a guard of driving over the summer. Thus, is the reason for high number of car accident in the entire State of California and San Francisco Bay Area in general. My San Leandro Chiropractic Clinic and five other clinics see way more patients during the rainy season. All drivers must understand how to drive during the rainy season and what can cause automobile accident.
A great number of drivers do not know how to drive during a rainy season. There are two types of drivers during bad weather conditions: those who lack confidence and those who are reckless drivers. Both types are dangerous on the roads.
Those drivers who lack confidence on the road during rain have a tendency to overestimate the danger of weather conditions and driver slower then the rest of the traffic flow on a freeway. This type of driver can be the cause of a back up traffic, and increasing the risk of rear end collision which can cause whiplash injury. This soft tissue injury is very common type of an automobile collision.
Those drivers who are reckless drivers often ignore the warning signs during the bad weather. These type of drivers are more than happy to see almost empty freeway and will use an opportunity to drive even faster than usual with low visibility and drenched roads. Even SUVs with all wheel drive systems and 4x4WD vehicles can easily loose traction with a road and easily skid. When a heavy vehicle like that is loosing traction during high speed it is recipe for a disaster. Please do not test your limits – the risk is far greater than a few seconds of an adrenaline rush.
Rain Makes the Road Slippery
Rain can make it much harder to stay on a road, being able to stop, or avoiding a collision with another motor vehicle. As I have mentioned above the road becomes very slippery because the oil rises to the surface and creates a greasy surface. If one can not stop a car on time, car accident is inevitable.
Rain Decreases Visibility
Make sure that your vehicle has functional windshield wipers. During rain storms, the visibility on the road is very minimal and it is hard to see other cars. Dirty water splashed from other vehicles on your windshield can block your view completely. It is like driving with your eyes closed on a freeway. Properly functional wipers will reduce this risk.
Car Accident Prevention Tips For the Rain
1. Drive slower.
This tip is for a better reaction times. Rainwater causes grease and oil built up on the road to surface and tires traction suffers as a result. If you drive slower, your tire traction will improve and you will also have more time to brake and slow your vehicle down.
2. Keep your eyes on the car ahead of you.
Pay extra attention to the traffic ahead of you during rainy days. During beautiful sunny day, you can see the traffic situation a couple hundred feet ahead and react accordingly. On a rainy day, it is important to pay attention to the reaction of the driver ahead of you. When that driver brakes, you brake as well. Still keep a safe following distance from the car in front because you’ll need to brake more slowly on a slippery road to avoid skidding. Keeping the distance is the key in order to prevent car accident and soft tissue injury.
3. Do not brake suddenly.
Sudden braking may cause a skid. Since the roads are slippery, stopping the wheels too quickly may cause them to lose all traction with the road, and an imminent car accident becomes a distinct possibility. In the case that skidding occurs, however, remain calm and do not make sudden turns because doing so may make the skidding even more dangerous. Just try to remain calm and steer straight until you feel the car regain traction.
4. Correctly defog your windows.
The windows on your car might fog, further limiting you visibility. You try to defog with the heater, but that will only further fog up your windows. To defog, keep your air conditioning blowing at both your windshield and your back window. If your car has a defog function, just press the button, and defogging should start automatically. Try not to wipe fogged window with your hand as it is going to make things even worse.
5. Avoid standing or flood water.
Middle of the road is usually higher that the left and right shoulder of the road. Staying in the middle will help you to avoid driving in buildup rain water. Most of the vehicles will not be able to drive through the pool of water and have a firm grip in deep water like SUV or 4×4. Try to stay away from those pools of water. If for some reason you do need to go through standing water, lightly tap a brake pedal couple of times and shake your tire with excess of water.
It would be great if everyone would stop driving during a heavy rain. However, that is impossible. In modern days society people are too busy and they have places to go and things to do. You can always pull over to the side and wait it out if you really think it’s raining too hard to drive.
If you were involved in a Car Accident and sustained soft tissue injury feel free to CONTACT one of our San Francisco Bay Area Chiropractic Clinics and we will be more than happy to help you. Most of the cases are on lien bases. That means you do not have to pay out of pocket for care. We do all of the paper work for you and deal with insurance paperwork.