The late summer months in Aiken and the surrounding areas often bring an increase of inclement weather. With the high humidity in the air, heavy rains and thunderstorms are common, while tropical storms and hurricanes tend to be an annual event. Unfortunately, this can make driving hazardous, increasing your risks for car accidents and serious, even life threatening personal injuries. The following provides useful information on the potential impact the weather can have on roads in our area and tips you can follow to help ensure both you and your passenger’s safety.
Weather-Related Car Accidents
When you think of common causes of car accidents, you may think of reckless driving behaviors, such as drunk driving or speeding. While these types of actions certainly increase your risks, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that roughly 25 percent of the estimated six million car crashes and collisions that occur each year are weather related. Of these, the majority are due to wet pavement and rain.
In Aiken and throughout South Carolina, this is particularly relevant for drivers in the late summer and early fall months, when heavy rains are most likely to occur. The effects of these downpours may include:
Decreased driver visibility
Reduced tire traction
Poor braking performance
Difficulty steering and maintaining control of the vehicle
Washed out roads and bridges
During hurricane season, which the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) advises runs from May thru November, this can be an even bigger problem. In addition to the weather, evacuations due to approaching storms can result in difficult traffic conditions and an increase in the number of vehicles on the roads.
Safety Tips For Driving During Hurricane Season
During bad weather, your best bet is to stay off the roads. If you must go out in a storm or are in a hurricane evacuation zone, follow these safety tips for driving in wind and rain from Travelers Insurance:
Allow plenty of time. Avoid speeding or driving too fast for conditions. Going too fast on wet roads could cause you to hydroplane and lose control of your vehicle.
Keep a strong grip on the wheel. Keep both hands firmly on the steering wheel to prevent swerving on wet pavement and into opposing lanes.
Avoid distractions. Driving during heavy winds or storms demands all of your attention. Keep your attention firmly fixed on the road and surrounding traffic at all times.
Keep your headlights on. Aside from increasing your visibility, using your headlights during poor weather conditions or anytime your windshield wipers are in use is required under the South Carolina Motor Vehicle Code.
Give other drivers their space. Allow plenty of room between you and other vehicles to avoid the chance of collisions. Give extra clearance to semi trucks or tractor trailers, who may have trouble controlling their vehicles, particularly during heavy downpours and wind gusts.
Been In Accident? Get Help Today
In the event an accident does occur, contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC. Our Aiken, SC car accident attorney can advise you on the types of compensation you may be entitled to.