Rain, like wind or snow, creates some very specific roadway hazards. According to the most recent statistics, Virginia drivers do fairly well in wet weather, but they still rank 12th in the nation for the most rain-related traffic fatalities.
That’s not great — but it could be a lot worse. Drivers in neighboring West Virginia are the absolute worst when it comes to rain-related accidents. Neighboring Tennessee is the eighth-worst state for such wrecks, and North Carolina comes in ninth.
Rain is a lot more dangerous than most drivers think
People typically think of snowy roads as the most dangerous — but rain leads to more wrecks than snow, ice, fog, wind and all other weather conditions put together.
What makes a wet road so dangerous? Consider these possibilities:
- Hydroplaning, where a car’s wheels temporarily lose traction due to a thin veneer of water and oil on the road, is very common in the rain.
- Limited visibility is a major issue since driving rain can make it difficult for drivers to see clearly more than a few yards ahead.
- Puddles can hide major road issues, like potholes and stones, which can both cause a quick-moving vehicle to lose its traction.
- In colder weather, rain can unexpectedly turn to slush, which is exceptionally slick to drive upon.
- Standing water, which can gather at low points in the road, can sweep a car completely off the road and even cause drownings.
What’s the best thing to do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe when the roads are wet? Slow down. That will help your tires keep their grip on the road — and help you spot hazards ahead.
Unfortunately, you can’t do anything about other drivers, and accidents can happen despite your best efforts to avoid them. If you or your loved one suffered injuries in a wreck, find out what you can do to assert your right to compensation.