Rain: A Spring Driving Danger

By Wayne Smolda, CEO and Founder

Road fatalities are 40 percent higher during inclement weather.

Spring showers make more than flowers bloom. They also make roads more dangerous.

Studies show that, hour-for-hour, more accidents occur when it’s raining than when skies are clear. In fact, some studies say accident rates double in the rain, and that traffic fatalities are 40 percent higher than when roads are dry.

There are two reasons: rainwater mixes with oil that passing traffic sprinkles onto the road surface, creating a super-slippery coating; and puddles that cause tires to float just above the pavement. That rain-oil mix is most dangerous when it first starts to rain, because there hasn’t been enough rainfall to dilute and wash it away. It’s even more of a hazard after a long dry spell, because there’s more oil on the road. So, if you live in a dry climate, you need to be extra-cautious driving in the rain.

Make sure that when it rains, you follow these steps to keep yourself safe:

  • Slow down.
  • Put more distance between you and other vehicles.
  • Use your headlights so other drivers see you better.
  • Be less aggressive when passing, turning and braking.
  • Keep your windshield fog-free.

Reminder: Make sure your tires are properly inflated in the warm weather, as blowouts are more common in extreme heat and cold.