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Can Wet Pavement Cause Car Accidents?

Many times, seemingly simple questions do not often result in simple answers. For example, whether wet pavement can cause car accidents, however, the answer is actually a straightforward one. Wet pavement absolutely can contribute to or cause auto accidents – and if you’re injured in one of these accidents caused by someone else’s negligence, we may be able to help.

The Statistics

Consider this: the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (and its Road Weather Management Program) compile weather-related crash statistics every year. For the 10-year period of 2007 to 2016, a total of 860,286 crashes were caused by or related to wet pavement. That resulted in nearly 325,000 injuries and 4,050 fatalities – just from wet pavement alone.

That doesn’t even factor in other weather conditions such as rain, snow, slush, and ice, which add even more devastating numbers to the equation. Breaking down these numbers, during an average year, approximately 15% of fatal crashes, 19% of injury crashes, and 22% of property-damage-only (PDO) crashes occur during adverse weather and/or slick pavement. Putting those percentages into actual numbers, nearly 4,900 fatal crashes, over 301,100 injury crashes, and nearly 919,700 PDO crashes occurred in adverse weather or on slick pavement during that 10-year span.

What You Can Do During These Conditions

These numbers are absolutely staggering. Think about how often it rains or snows in the Washington, DC metro area – there are some seasons when we certainly get our fair share of both!  Sources say the DC area experiences some form of precipitation 114 days in an average year. That means that you could be driving on wet pavement nearly one-third of the entire year, which is more than the national average.

Combine both sets of numbers, and it’s a recipe for danger…or worse. So, how do you handle driving in wet conditions?

  • Take it slow. When the roads are wet, it’s essential to take it nice and slow–meaning, don’t speed or drive aggressively. Doing so can reduce your reaction time in the event of something unexpected.
  • Avoid hard braking and sharp turns. Performing either of these actions on a slick road will only lead to bad things, such as skids or complete loss of control of your vehicle. And if you’re on a busy road, that’s going to cause significant problems…and not just for you.
  • Allow extra room between you and the car ahead. Tailgating or following too closely in dry conditions can be dangerous, but when you add in the wet conditions, it can spell disaster. Keep your distance and allow yourself room to stop suddenly if necessary.
  • Slow your actions. This doesn’t necessarily apply to speed; this is more about taking things one step at a time. Don’t try to brake and turn at the same time on wet, slippery roads. Brake first, then turn, then accelerate. This will help prevent skidding and spinning.
  • Pay close attention. This should go without saying in any weather, but you must pay attention to your surroundings in wet weather. Stay off your phone, limit distractions, and keep your eyes on the road for everyone’s benefit. And remember – you need to drive defensively too. Accidents on wet roads can be caused by someone else in a split second.

If You Are Involved in a Car Accident…

You may take every precaution in the world and be doing just fine…all it takes is one person not to be as cautious as you, and you can become involved in an accident with injuries. If this happens, get medical attention immediately and then call The Lapidus Law Firm. Our car accident attorneys will work tirelessly on your behalf to hold the negligent person accountable, and we’ll work tirelessly to get you a fair settlement.

Can Wet Roads Cause Car Accidents?

Please be safe when driving on wet pavement because it has been proven that these conditions can indeed cause car accidents–and quite a few of them. If you’ve taken all precautions and wind up in an auto accident caused by someone else and are injured, call The Lapidus Law Firm at (202) 785-5111 or (301) 852-7500 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Written by Larry Lapidus

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