It's no secret we're right in the middle of California's rainy season, which begins in late October and continues right through March. During this time of year, the National Flood Insurance Program warns home and business owners about the potential for flooding. But, it's also the time of year when car accidents spike due to inclement weather conditions. Contrary to popular belief, it's not snow and ice conditions which contribute to auto collisions, it's rain.
California Rainy Season: Auto Accident Prevention Tips: Is Your Vehicle Road Ready for Rain and Wet Road Conditions?
An analysis of federal data reveals that rain actually causes more roadway fatalities than snow in a surprising 39 of all 50 states. What's even more surprising is that car crashes are the most deadly weather hazard across the country, including rain, snow, fog, wind, or a combination. Such inclement conditions are a partial or major cause of the 7,000 roadway deaths which occur each year.
Heavy rains from late October through March mark the rainy season in California, bringing the majority of yearly rainfall to the region. Each year during the winter rainy season, Californians face the risk of flooding and mudflows that can damage homes and businesses. Winter floods can strike at any time. Already this season, major flooding has impacted thousands of residents in the Pacific Northwest. Californians are equally as vulnerable; it is important for California residents to protect their property... --F.E.M.A. (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
"Even though winter conditions do generate their share of accidents, wet conditions are generally more common in many areas. And drivers are often less cautious than they might be with winter conditions," James Koermer of Plymouth State University told USA Today. Although it's a bit perplexing, rain causes more road crashes than snow and ice, when you stop to consider its impact, it does make sense. Rain makes the road slick, reduces visibility, and isn't respected as an unsafe condition by too many drivers.
How to Get Your Car Ready for the Long California Rainy Season
Now that we are well into the California rainy season, it's time to get your car ready for the road. Wet conditions are dangerous conditions and you shouldn't take this lightly. Too many roadway injuries and fatalities are avoidable but still happen because motorists just aren't prepared. Here are some helpful rainy weather safety tips about how to get your car ready for California's long rainy season:
- Check all your tires. Your car's tires are very important to help maintain good traction on the road. The tread is important because it can make the difference between driving through a puddle of water or hydroplaning. If your tires are worn, be sure to replace them. The average lifespan of vehicle tires range between three to four years. Also, be sure to check your spare tire because you don't want to be stuck without an option.
- Replace your windshield wipers. Windshield wipers only last about six months, but many drivers do not replace their wipers for more than a year or longer. You need to replace your windshield wipers every six months to maintain good visibility when driving in the rain.
- Ensure all your lights work. Check your headlights, tail lights, fog lights, and directional signal lights to ensure they are all working properly. Replace the lights which don't work and do so in pairs. If one headlight is out, replace both because it won't be long before the other goes out. Lights are important for you to see and be seen.
- Have your brakes checked out. Take your vehicle to a licensed, experienced auto service technician to test your brakes. If recommended, have your brakes replaced so you are able to come to a safe stop when necessary and especially in slick, wet conditions caused by the rain.
- Check your battery. The last thing you want is to be stuck on the road in pouring rain because of a dead battery. Check your battery and replace it, if needed. It's good common sense to have a new battery since it's more costly and inconvenient to deal with a dead battery unexpectedly.
If you are involved in a car accident, regardless of weather conditions, it is imperative you speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Vititoe Law Group as soon as possible for a free evaluation of your case. It's important for you to act quickly because there are time limitations to when you can file a claim.