American Indian Owned Law Firm

Common causes of accidents in inclement weather

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Personal Injury

Inclement weather significantly increases the risk of accidents on the roads. While some accidents may be unavoidable, understanding common causes of collisions can help drivers take preventive measures to stay safe.

The following are some of the primary factors that contribute to accidents in adverse weather conditions.

Reduced visibility

One of the most significant challenges during inclement weather is reduced visibility. Heavy rain, fog, snow or hail can obscure the road ahead, making it difficult for drivers to see other vehicles, pedestrians or obstacles. Poor visibility increases the likelihood of rear-end collisions, side swipes and running off the road.

Slippery roads

Wet or icy road surfaces significantly reduce tire traction, increasing the risk of skidding and loss of control. Hydroplaning occurs when there is a layer of water between your vehicle’s tires and the surface of the road. It is a common occurrence in heavy rain and can result in the loss of control of a vehicle and potential accidents. Ice patches, especially on bridges and overpasses, pose a significant hazard for drivers, causing vehicles to slide unexpectedly.

Reduced braking distance

In inclement weather, it takes longer for vehicles to come to a complete stop due to reduced tire grip on wet or icy roads. Drivers often underestimate the increased braking distance required, leading to rear-end collisions or failing to stop at intersections. Black ice, a thin layer of transparent ice on the road surface, further diminishes braking effectiveness, catching drivers off guard.

Decreased traction and stability

Strong winds, especially during storms or blizzards, can affect vehicle stability, particularly for high-profile vehicles like trucks, vans or SUVs. Wind gusts may cause vehicles to sway or veer off course, especially on open highways or bridges, increasing the risk of collisions with other vehicles or barriers.

Awareness of these common causes of accidents in inclement weather is crucial for all drivers. By exercising caution, adapting driving behavior and staying informed about weather conditions, motorists can reduce the risk of accidents and ensure safer journeys during adverse weather events.