As personal injury attorneys, we often talk with clients who have been involved in car accidents in which inclement weather is a factor. We know that rain and wet roads often contribute to accidents, but just how much? A great deal, actually.
- Rain and wet roads cause more car accidents and injuries than snow, sleet or fog. A study based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that most weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement (73 percent) and when it rains (46 percent).
- Washington isn't the rainiest state, but it has a significant number of rainy days. Our state receives an average of approximately 37 inches of rain each year, which ranks it 29th in the country. While this may not be as much rain as people often assume the state receives, it is still a significant amount, especially when you consider the effect that rain has on driving.
- Weather-related car accidents are deadly. When the road is wet, the driver's visibility decreases, the vehicle's traction decreases and the risk of accidents increases. Almost 6,000 people are killed and more than 445,000 are injured on average in weather-related car accidents each year in the U.S.
Drivers are supposed to slow down and drive more carefully when it is raining, but, of course, many do not. If you are in a car accident that occurred during rainfall or on wet pavement, it is important that you protect your health and rights. Get necessary medical care and speak with an attorney.
Your legal team's thorough investigation may reveal that the other driver was driving too fast for weather conditions. It is also possible that something else was wrong, like the driver was drunk or distracted.
This may sound worrisome, but it is also important to know that you can get the support you need to heal and move forward. If another party is at fault, you can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Your attorney will guide you through the process and explain everything along the way. Every car accident case is unique, so it is best to discuss yours with an attorney to learn how the law will apply to you.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation: Ten-year averages from 2004 to 2013 analyzed by Booz Allen Hamilton, based on NHTSA data.