Pensacola, Florida is no stranger to wet weather. No matter if you are in the area because it is your place of residence or if you are visiting the Sunshine state for business or pleasure, rain can happen at any time of the year. According to a study analyzing federal crash data, rain is one of the leading causes of weather-related car accidents in the United States. As our nation’s weather becomes more and more extreme, drivers across the country grow accustomed to driving in the rain. With more drivers on wet roads, the likelihood of being involved in a Pensacola accident increases.
How to Stay Safe in the Rain
In Florida, particularly during tropical weather season, it is critical for drivers – both local and visitors – to be extra careful when heading out on the roads. Below are reasons to be extra cautious in this type of weather and few tips on how to stay safe in the rain.
- Less visibility – Whether it is due to rain on your windshield or in your line of sight, both impediments cause decreased visibility for drivers. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to be on the lookout for other vehicles and anticipate potential crashes. Inattentive drivers and dangerous conditions make it harder to recognize problems such as rivers and canals. For these reasons, be sure to be extra focused when driving, keep the headlights on, and allow for plenty of space between you and other cars.
- Risk of hydroplaning – A serious risk on the road, hydroplaning happens when the tires of a vehicle are unable to force the water between them and the road away. As a result, the vehicle floats on the water, completely taking control of the car from the driver behind the wheel. The best thing to do is immediately take your foot off the gas, do not hit the brakes, gently turn the steering wheel in the direction the car is spinning, wait to feel the tires reconnect and get traction with the road, and then pull over and take a few minutes to calm yourself.
- Distracted driving – Drivers who are used to being on the road in wet weather often underestimate the extra dangers of distracted driving in these conditions. Bad weather makes even the best driver have difficulty avoiding an accident. Therefore, be alert for both unsafe road conditions and careless drivers. Drive more slowly, avoid following closely behind a vehicle, and allow other drivers to pass.
- Road Washouts – This is more common on older roads, particularly those that are not properly drained. In such cases, the road is prone to eroding and washing out. Of note, road washouts can be visible – like when a road collapses – or invisible – like when the earth under the road cannot support the weight of the pavement and cars on top of it. Be sure to be extra careful and alert in areas where there is high running water over the roadway or near it.
Pensacola Car Accident Attorneys
Wet weather in Pensacola, during and outside of tropical rain season, can put everyone at a greater risk of being involved in a car accident. The skilled Pensacola, FL car accident attorneys at the Stevenson Klotz Law Firm have years of experience fighting for the rights of the injured. If you or someone you know has been in a Pensacola car accident, contact us today for your initial case evaluation.
Following graduation from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Eric Stevenson held a number of positions including Assistant State Attorney in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Eric has been practicing with partner Christopher Klotz since 2015 litigating personal injury and car accidents in Alabama and Florida.