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The Many Environmental Impacts that Increase Accident Risks

R. Mark Maritote Nov. 8, 2018

Driving in the rain, fog or snow can seriously impact your chances of getting involved in a car accident. Weather plays a significant role in accidents, and that role is well-recognized by the Federal Highway Administration (FHA).

In fact, these are a few of the issues they see when people simply have to drive in the rain:

  • Reduction in friction of the tires against the pavement

  • Reduction in visibility for the driver

  • Potential lane obstructions

  • An impact on overall traffic speed

  • Extra delays in travel time

  • Altered roadway capacities

  • Increased accident risks

  • Decreased vehicle performance — for instance, the amount of traction is reduced

  • Potential issues with the timing of traffic signals

  • Changes to driver capabilities and behavior

  • Issues with speed limits

These are not even all the potential problems, and they only deal with precipitation. Issues can grow even more complicated when dealing with black ice, whiteout conditions, high winds and many other potential weather factors.

The first step to staying safe, of course, is to understand how the weather will impact your ability to drive. You may need to adjust your speed and schedule to match. You need to prepare for the weather and understand that tactics that worked on a clear, dry summer day just are not going to work in the fall or the winter.

However, you still face a lot of risks because other drivers are bound to make mistakes. It happens all the time. If you get seriously injured in an accident, you then need to know all the legal options you have to seek financial compensation.