Traveling in less-than-ideal road conditions is nothing new for Alaska drivers. Snow and ice are common across the state, and most drivers address those risks. It might be surprising to know, however, that wet weather conditions can be more dangerous. According to a study from the Auto Insurance Center, rain contributes to more fatal car accidents than snow across the country. This is also true in Alaska, and the same study noted “failure to adjust to road surface” as the leading cause of deadly car crashes in our state.
Dangers Associated With Driving in the Rain in Alaska
Rainfall is a common occurrence, and it is often dismissed by drivers. However, it can have important consequences for driving. Some of the most common risks posed by rain include:
- Decreased visibility
- Reduced tire traction
- Brake failure from wet brakes
Common Mistakes Drivers Make in Wet Conditions
Too often, drivers fail to adjust their habits and manner of driving in the rain, resulting in serious accidents with significant injuries. Some of the most common mistakes drivers make in the rain include:
- Driving too fast. It’s important to slow down in wet conditions. Posted speed limits are meant to reflect the appropriate speed for good conditions, and speed should be adjusted to give drivers time to fully appreciate and react to their surroundings.
- Using cruise control. While it may seem counterintuitive, using cruise control in the rain can actually be dangerous. If the car slides while in cruise control, it will actually speed up due to the mixed signals it receives.
- Not using headlights. Even during the day, it’s important to turn on your headlights to ensure you are as visible as possible to all those on the road.
- Following too closely. Visibility can be drastically reduced in just seconds when rain is heavy. This can pose many dangers, especially to drivers who are following too closely behind another vehicle. They’ll have little time to react to a changing situation.
- Failing to maintain windshield wipers. The windshield and windshield wipers are important tools in rainy driving conditions. Certain glass treatments can help repel water, and wipers should be in good condition to be effective. Failing to maintain good windshield conditions can lead to even worse visibility in already difficult conditions.
Take Action to Protect Your Family After a Wet Weather Accident
These behaviors and others result in the deaths of nearly 6,000 people each year and injury to 445,000 more. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries due to another driver’s failure to act responsibly behind the wheel, you may be eligible to file a legal claim. These cases can provide compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and much more.
Anchorage attorney Ben Crittenden has represented many Alaskans, helping them obtain the compensation they need and protecting that recovery from those who may seek to take advantage of them. Even if you aren’t sure of your rights, call The Law Office of Ben Crittenden today to speak directly with Ben and take that first step toward getting back to your normal life.