How can rainy weather affect traffic safety?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Auto Accidents |

North Carolina enjoys relatively frequent rainfall, especially in spring. North Carolina receives more rain than the average in the United States, and some parts of the state see far more rain than others. Precipitation keeps vegetation lush and contributes to a comfortable climate. Unfortunately, it also creates hazards for those driving. When rain storms last for hours and come day after day, it is frankly impossible for people to avoid driving in the rain. Rainstorms create a variety of different safety issues for those operating motor vehicles.

Those who refresh themselves about the risks related to rainy weather may have an easier time avoiding a weather-related crash.

Rainfall affects vehicle control and visibility

During times of active precipitation, drivers may find it difficult to drive safely. The rain falling can impact visibility, even when someone uses their windshield wipers. Heavier rainfall and rain during transitional times or after dark can be particularly dangerous. Rain often comes with wind, and windy conditions can push vehicles around on the road. Both light vehicles and particularly large vehicles can become difficult to handle during high-speed winds. Drivers may need to slow down and increase the distance that they maintain between their vehicle and other vehicles in traffic to avoid causing a preventable crash.

Rainfall affects traction as well

The crash risk associated with precipitation does not end as soon as the rain stops falling. Until the pavement dries, the risk of a crash remains elevated. Roughly 75% of all weather-related collisions occur when the roads are wet after or during precipitation, but many of those crashes do not occur during active rainfall. Water accumulating in the streets can bring oil to the surface of the pavement, affecting vehicle traction. Puddles can cause hydroplaning, which can also affect someone’s control of their vehicle. When motorists know that rain is likely, they may want to plan to leave earlier so that they have time to adjust their driving for the weather.

Refreshing oneself on the top weather-related concerns for North Carolina drivers may help people reduce their personal crash risk. Motorists who make safety their top priority can stay safer and strengthen their case should they ever need compensation after a crash caused by someone else.