Whenever the rain starts to fall in Northern Virginia, it seems like everyone on the road is suddenly in a hurry to get to their destination. Reckless driving reports rise and the risk of getting into a serious car accident goes up with it. What is it about inclement weather that makes many motorists handle their vehicles irresponsibly? The verdict is still out on that one and there is no one clear indicator as to why the change in behavior occurs. All we can know for certain is that the consequences can be devastating collisions that should have been prevented.
To help prevent car accidents in inclement weather, remember these tips:
- Speed control: Just because everyone else has decided it is time to rush around the streets in the rain doesn’t mean you should. Control your car and your lane by dropping your speed to whatever is safest.
- Safe distance: Tailgating during the rain or snow of winter is one of the worst decisions a driver can make. Safe stopping distances increase dramatically in bad weather conditions as the road becomes slick. In some situations, stopping isn’t even an option as cars slide out of control. Give everyone ample space in front of you, for everyone’s benefit.
- Maintenance: If the forecast predicts rain and hail for next week, take it seriously and do some routine maintenance on your vehicle. Consider replacing your windshield wipers, testing your headlights for proper brightness, and checking your tires for safe levels of inflation.
After an Accident in Inclement Weather
If you do your best to stay safe when it’s pouring out but still get hit by another driver, what can you do to ensure the liability does not get pinned on you? For starters, treat the situation like you would any other car accident: call for help, collect evidence, exchange insurance information, don’t admit fault, etc. But if the weather really is to blame, there are two unique steps you need to make certain you follow:
- Photograph the area: Taking pictures of injuries and damage to your car is useful but not quite enough in this case. Get shots of the road, gutters, and more to show that the weather was inclement when the collision occurred.
- Document the weather: Insurance companies are going to question how they can be certain that your evidence of the bad weather was actually collected on the day of the crash. It is usually smart to find additional ways to prove that inclement weather had hit your area on that day around that time, such as information stored on weather sites or apps.
And, as always, do not forget to prepare your claim with a professional personal injury attorney. At The Strong Law Firm, our Northern Virginia car accident attorney has 35+ years of trial and legal experience available to strengthen your case. Begin today with an initial consultation to learn your rights.