Watch Out For Wet Weather In Pennsylvania
Despite how common rainy days are at the beginning of every year, many drivers still do not take adequate precautions when they drive on wet roads. Given that a recent bulletin from the American Meteorological Society found that even a tiny amount of rain noticeably increases accident risk, it is important that you take all possible precautions to minimize your own risk of accident.
Do Not Speed! While this can sound self-evident, speed is one of the top factors in rain-related collisions. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) estimates that roughly 21 percent of all collisions per year are weather-related, with a significant portion of those also citing speed as a factor. Even light rain can reduce general speed/mobility by between 3 and 13 miles per hour, and if a driver chooses to continue at a normal speed despite the wet roads, accidents will happen.
Ensure Your Car Is In Good Shape. Make sure that your car does not have any potential issues like bare tires, a dying battery, or visibility issues like cracked windows. Visibility is also crucial from a liability standpoint because very often, liability in auto accidents hinges on the concept of foreseeability – in other words, what a driver might reasonably expect to encounter while operating their vehicle. Other drivers are not generally able to foresee any problems with your vehicle.
Drive Defensively. In addition to watching one’s speed on wet roads, driving defensively in general is highly recommended. This means paying attention to your surroundings and not engaging in distracted driving, which has been shown to be highly dangerous – 2017 data reports over 3,000 people killed in distracted driving accidents nationwide. Distracted driving can, in particular, lead to hydroplaning, which is one of the leading factors in wet-weather accidents.
If You Are In An Accident … Do Not Apologize. It may seem unnecessarily unkind or harsh, but in Pennsylvania, any kind of statement that might imply liability can be used against you by an insurer or sometimes in court. You must, obviously, report the facts of the accident to the relevant authorities and comply with the law, but statements made at the scene that imply you taking responsibility can be parlayed into something you did not intend – thus it is best to avoid them.
Know Your Rights. If you have been injured, you have the right to seek redress, especially if your injuries have been caused by someone else’s negligence. You must be able to show that whoever caused your injuries did not act with the standard of reasonable care that is expected between motorists on Pennsylvania roads, and that their failure to act with due care was the direct cause of your harm – that is, that there was no other cause that led to you getting hurt.
Contact An Experienced Scranton Car Crash Attorney. Even if you take all possible precautions for yourself, sometimes you might be injured by someone who has not. If this has happened to you, contacting the Scranton auto accident lawyers at the Needle Law Firm is a good idea. We can sit down with you and try to help answer your questions, as well as offering advice on how best to move forward from here. Contact us today for a free consultation; we serve Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Stroudsburg and most of northeastern Pennsylvania.