When it comes to dangers motorists face on the road, just about anything is possible. An animal can pop out of nowhere. A drunk driver can veer off their lane and hit you. And puddles can form on the road following a heavy storm.
That said, the U.S Department of Transportation reports that bad weather accounts for approximately 21 percent of all car accidents. This translates to over 418,000 injuries and 5,000 deaths.
Here are three environmental factors that are likely to cause road accidents:
Heavy storms and rain
Storms or heavy rains can greatly impact the driver’s ability to see clearly and maintain their control of the vehicle. Slippery roads, coupled with heavy winds, can greatly increase your risk of skidding off the road, especially if you have worn-out tires.
If you have to drive in a heavy storm, be sure to drive slowly while keeping a safe distance from the car ahead of you. Additionally, ensure that you turn on your headlights to increase visibility.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that icy roads cause approximately 26,000 accidents every year. This translates to 50% of accidents that are attributable to environmental factors.
Generally, traction tends to be significantly reduced on icy roads, making it difficult to brake in time when there is an emergency. As such, it is recommended that you drive slowly and keep a safe distance from the car ahead of you. Additionally, ensure that you have the right snow tires when driving in harsh weather.
Glare from the sun is another common cause of environment-related accidents. Glare can greatly impact a driver’s ability to see clearly, resulting in a collision with oncoming vehicles.
If glare is hindering your visibility, it is important that you drive at a manageable speed while keeping a safe distance from the car ahead of you.
Learning how to handle yourself on the road in all kinds of weather is important, but not everybody takes the time. Find out how you can protect your rights if you are involved in a car accident caused by another driver’s mistakes.