Weather can be one of the most dangerous aspects of driving in some cases, so it’s vital for drivers to understand how rain can affect driving and a driver’s liability for car accidents. The likelihood of car accidents happening increases during rain, so drivers should know which factors can lead to liability for these accidents. Driving is a very serious privilege, so drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles safely in all situations, including heavy rain.
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Heavy rain can obstruct a driver’s field of view, distort the apparent distances between moving objects, and cause a vehicle’s tires to lose contact with the road. Drivers on the road during heavy rain should adhere to the speed limit and drive more cautiously than usual. Turning off the car stereo to hear better over the din of the rain outside can help a driver focus better during a rainstorm.
Drivers should engage their headlights and windshield wipers during heavy rain to provide as much visibility as possible. Turning on the car’s headlights not only provides the driver with added visibility but also helps other drivers nearby notice the driver more easily and avoid accidents. Drivers should keep a healthy distance from other drivers to compensate for the reduced visibility and prevent mud and debris spraying from a vehicle in front of obstructing the driver’s vision even more.
It’s also crucial for drivers to remember the effect the rain has on a vehicle’s brakes. Braking too hard can cause the vehicle’s tires to lock up and lose traction on the road. Similarly, driving too fast on slick surfaces can cause hydroplaning, which means a car’s tires stop making contact with the road surface and instead glide on top of the layer of moisture on the road. Hydroplaning can happen with even small amounts of water, so drivers should be extra cautious around any noticeable pools of water on the road.
Drivers should know how to stop hydroplaning in the event it occurs. Many drivers cause serious accidents from hydroplaning due to over-correcting their steering or simply panicking. Losing control of your vehicle is terrifying, but a hydroplaning driver should try to remain as calm as possible, keep the car directed straight forward, and release the accelerator to allow the vehicle to slow down so the tires can connect with the road surface again.
The short answer is yes; a driver can face liability for an accident that occurs due to heavy rain. Drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely in all situations. This includes inclement weather, so an inexperienced driver or a driver who does not feel comfortable driving in the heavy rain should not get behind the wheel during heavy rain.
A driver will face liability for an accident that occurs due to heavy rain because the driver has a duty of care to operate his or her vehicle safely regardless of road conditions. For example, if one driver slams on the brakes during heavy rain and the driver behind brakes but hydroplanes and rear-ends the driver in front, the second driver will still be liable for the first driver’s damages. Drivers who suffer injuries and property damage from accidents in the rain should not allow an at-fault driver to use the rain as an excuse to escape liability.
Some rain accidents can happen due to vehicle defects such as faulty tires, brakes, windshield wipers, headlights, or any other part of the vehicle that contributes to a hydroplaning accident or other rain-related crash. In these situations, injured drivers can file product liability claims against the defective product’s manufacturer. Ultimately, rain makes driving more dangerous for everyone, so it’s crucial for drivers to take extra care to avoid causing serious or even fatal accidents.