Mississippi is no stranger to rainstorms. On average, our state receives 59 inches of precipitation every year – ranking third in the United States.
With so much wet weather, it’s easy to become complacent when conditions turn sour. However, rain substantially increases the likelihood of accidents – especially when drivers behave negligently.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, rain is a contributing factor in 10 percent of all accidents in the United States. If you think that number sounds low, consider this: It adds up to 573,000 crashes per year, which injure more than 228,000 people and kill more than 2,700.
The vast majority of these wrecks are preventable. Be sure to avoid these five mistakes next time you drive in the rain:
- Driving toward the side of the road;
- Not using your headlights;
- Waiting too long to activate the wiper blades;
- Driving across flooded bridges;
- And driving too fast.
If you were injured due to a negligent driver in Mississippi, contact Morris Bart, LTD. A Gulfport personal-injury lawyer will evaluate your case and guide you through the claims process.
Let’s take a closer look at five mistakes to avoid when driving in the rain:
Mistake #1: Driving toward the Side of the Road
Many roads have a camber that distributes water toward the sides. The highest point – and driest part – of a road is usually in the middle, so avoid driving near the side of the road when wet weather strikes.
Mistake #2: Not Using Your Headlights
Rain reduces drivers’ visibility, which is one of the reasons why it contributes to so many accidents. Do not forget to turn on your headlights in wet weather; this will extend the distance that you can see, and it will help other drivers notice you.
Mistake #3: Waiting Too Long to Activate the Wiper Blades
Many drivers allow rain to cover their entire windshield before activating their windshield wipers. Don’t make this mistake. It is safer to turn on your wipers at the first sign of rain.
Mistake #4: Driving across Flooded Bridges
Flooded bridges may look passable, but it takes only a thin layer of water to cause you to hydroplane, according to Edmunds.com. Worse yet, the water may be flowing faster than expect and wash you and your vehicle off the road.
Mistake #5: Driving Too Fast
The American Automobile Association reminds motorists to reduce their speed according to the driving conditions. Even new tires can hydroplane at 35 miles per hour.
If you were injured in a crash that another driver caused, a Gulfport personal-injury attorney from Morris Bart, LTD will guide you through the claims process. We will help you avoid mistakes such as accepting a low settlement or making recorded statements to insurance adjusters. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free initial consultation.