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Wet Weather Driving Tips for Californian Drivers

When the rain starts to come down in California, residents should change their wet weather driving behaviors to adjust for the conditions. The running joke is that Californians are bad drivers in the rain, but that doesn’t have to be the case. When wet weather is upon us, there are several things you can do to make sure you stay safe and avoid accidents.

California is known for its warm summers and wet winters. Residents experience scorching hot weather conditions near or during the summertime, and an abundance of rainfall around the winter season. Generally, the state experiences neutral weather year-round. However, about 90 percent of wet weather occurs between December to February. During this time, it can be difficult for drivers to navigate their way through traffic in the rain.

Californian drivers are notoriously bad at driving in rainy weather. Many drivers will attempt to drive at a cautious pace, while others will continue to speed regardless of what the weather may be. Drivers who do not implement safety precautions during poor weather conditions can put themselves at risk of getting into an accident. 

The most rain-related accidents in California have been reported in Los Angeles County. According to a study conducted by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, 80 percent of drivers are likely to get into an accident when it is raining. In addition, rain has contributed to a 140 percent increase in accidents. 

The study also indicated that when it rains between 11am to 12pm, there are four times as many accidents compared to driving in clear, dry weather conditions. When it’s raining between 7am to 8am, there are nearly three times as many accidents reported.

As we continue to see rain throughout California during the winter season, it is important for residents to be prepared at all times to drive through such conditions. Below, our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers at West Coast Trial Lawyers have provided a list of tips drivers in California should consider taking while commuting in the wet weather.

Top 10 Tips on How to Drive in the Rain

1. Remain Calm if You Are Hydroplaning

If you notice yourself losing control over your vehicle, try to stay calm. Do not slam on your breaks as doing so could cause you to spin out of control. Instead, you should ease your foot off of the gas pedal, use a light pumping action on the brake pedal, direct your steering wheel into the path you want your vehicle to go, and wait until you regain traction. 

2. Drive Slowly

To avoid hydroplaning, do not speed. Take your time and slow down while following the flow of traffic. 

3. Make Sure Your Vehicle Is in Good Condition

Check to ensure your tires, brakes, and windshield wipers are functional and responsive. 

  • Tires: Having a solid tread and adequate inflation will allow your vehicle to handle the slippery roads. 
  • Brakes: Drivers are likely to make sudden stops during rainy weather conditions, which is why it is crucial to get your brakes and brake fluids checked occasionally to ensure they are working well.
  • Windshield Wipers: Maintaining your windshield wipers will allow you to properly navigate your vehicle without having streaks of water obstructing your view of the road. 

4. Allow Extra Space Between You and the Vehicles Nearby

Being too close to another vehicle will give you less time to react to what is going on ahead of you. You should leave plenty of room in front of you to ensure that there is enough space to act quickly to avoid getting into an accident with a vehicle or a foreseeable hazard.

5. Pull Over if the Rain Begins to Worsen

If you are having a difficult time navigating your way through the rain, you should pull over to a safe location and wait until conditions improve before heading out on the road again. 

6. Do Not Use Cruise Control

If you're using cruise control while speeding in wet weather, it could cause your vehicle to hydroplane. You should avoid using this feature during such conditions to ensure you have full control over your vehicle and you can properly regulate the speed at which your vehicle is going.

7. Turn on Your Headlights 

Having your headlights on in the rain will allow you to have better visibility of the road, meaning that you can detect any foreseeable hazards, focus on what the vehicles ahead are doing, or notice when a pedestrian is attempting to cross the street. 

8. Keep Your Windshield Wipers on

It is important to keep your windshield wiper on throughout the duration of your drive to avoid having water build up and obstruct your visibility of the road.

9. Use Your Defroster 

To prevent your windshield from fogging up during a drive, you should turn on your front and rear defrosters to maintain a clear view of the road.

10. Avoid Driving Through Large Puddles

Heavy rainfall can create large puddles. Generally, six inches of water could cause a vehicle to lose control. So, if you notice a large puddle while on a drive, and it appears to be half a foot of water or more, you should avoid driving through it. However, if the water seems like it is less than six inches, you should be safe enough to drive over it. When doing so, keep a steady pace. Once you have passed through the puddle, you should test your brakes at low speeds. This will also help dry them off. 

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you were involved in a rain-related accident in California, West Coast Trial Lawyers is readily available to offer legal assistance. Our team of specialized personal injury lawyers have won over 5,000 cases and recovered more than $1.5 billion in settlements and judgments on behalf of our clients. Due to our achievements, we have been recognized as one of the top personal injury law firms in California. 
We run on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you are not obligated to compensate us for our legal services if we don’t win or settle your case. To schedule a free case evaluation, we welcome you to contact us by calling (213) 927-3700 or completing our online contact form located on the bottom of the page. Our legal team is available 24/7 to answer phone calls and respond to form submissions.

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