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Florida Weather And Road Conditions That Lead To Accidents

Florida may be known as the Sunshine State, but any resident knows that we do see quite a bit of rain throughout the year. In June, July, and August, periods of daily rainfall aren’t rare in the state of Florida, and while the heat during this season will often dry pavement up rather quickly, thousands of drivers are on the road while the surface of the asphalt remains slick and slippery. Whether you’re driving during a rainstorm, or immediately after, there are some things to consider to ensure you remain safe for yourself and others on the road.

Even skilled and experienced drivers can find it difficult to navigate Florida roadways safely during a strong summer storm, and in the hours immediately following the rain, the roads remain tricky due to surface slickness. According to a study by the Federal Highway Administration, around 22% of car accidents in the United States are weather related, and of this 22% a whopping 73% are directly linked to rainfall, both during rainstorms and immediately following.

To look at Florida specific weather condition related accidents, 9% of car accidents that resulted in injuries were directly related to rainy road conditions in 2015, and this number dipped slightly to 8.5% the following year in 2016. What about rainy days creates hazardous road conditions in Florida? There are a number of factors actually working together.

How Florida Rainfall Leads To Car Accidents

It’s important to remember that it takes little negligence to cause an accident when weather conditions are less than ideal. While a driver may have to be consciously negligent on a sunny and warm clear day to cause an accident, this isn’t the case when the roads are wet. During active rainfall, not only do the roads grow slippery, but vision is hindered by the rain falling onto the windshield, creating a perfect storm of the weather working against you and your safety.

Rainfall doesn’t need to be active to affect road conditions. During the first handful of minutes after a rainstorm begins, oils on the road will begin being brought to the surface as its pushed up and mixed with rainwater standing on the surface. This oil can lead to cars losing control and spinning into unintentional directions, which is why it’s crucial to drive slowly and deliberately with all attention on the road after even a short burst of rain.

Hydroplaning is another big threat for Florida drivers after or during a storm. Hydroplaning occurs when poor drainage causes water to begin pooling on the surface of the roadway. Typically, tires move water out of the way, but when too much is built up rain water can actually build in front of the tire more quickly than it can be parted. This built up water creates a thin layer separating the car from the surface of the road, creating a layer that behaves similarly to ice. When hydroplaning occurs, it’s important to not brake or turn the car, and to allow the vehicle to have a second to regain contact with the surface of the road.

Safe Driving For Weather Conditions To Avoid Car Accidents

The best way to avoid car accidents during Florida rainstorms is to drive as safely and as consciously as possible. When it’s raining, it’s important to keep the car moving at a slower pace to keep control, to turn on your headlights to ensure visibility, and to keep extra distance between you and the car in front of you in order to account for any slipping or sliding that could occur. If you do find yourself in a Florida car accident related to weather conditions, it pays to have a car accident attorney on your side. To learn more, contact us at today.

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

Florida Weather And Road Conditions That Lead To Accidents

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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