Why the First Rain Is So Dangerous for Car Accidents

Driving in the rain is hazardous for many drivers. However, the first rain after a period of dry weather can increase risks to most drivers on the road. The first rain and dangerous weather conditions can increase the effects of negligence on the road, leading to severe accidents, injuries, and death.  Drivers can follow certain tips to prevent accidents before they occur and take crucial steps to effectively file an insurance claim in case an accident does happen.

Risks of Driving in the Rain

While driving in the rain poses general risks no matter what point in the rainy season it is, the first rain is particularly dangerous for Tennessee drivers. Sudden moisture after a long period of dryness can release oil and other substances that have built up on the roads and pavement over time. When the oil, water, and other substances mix and rise to the surface, the roads and pavement become incredibly slippery. This condition can lead to skidding, slipping, and swerving, especially for novice drivers who do not know to be cautious during the first rain.

In addition to specific first rain hazards, driving in the rain poses risks to motor vehicles year-round.

  • Many drivers, especially those used to dry conditions, do not know how to drive in the rain. Two types of drivers can pose risks to others on the road: drivers who are too timid while driving in the rain, and drivers who do not exercise enough caution while driving in the rain. Timid drivers often drive at low speeds, increasing traffic and vehicle back-ups, which can lead to rear end accidents. Reckless drivers are more dangerous, driving quickly and without caution. These vehicles can skid and crash into other cars, causing severe accidents and injuries.
  • Heavy rain makes the road slippery, and many drivers do not know how to navigate slippery roads. Many vehicles can drive off a roadway, fail to stop at appropriate times, and collide into other cars.
  • Rain pouring on a windshield, along with associated fog and condensation, can severely decrease a driver’s visibility on the road. Other cars kick up dirty water and rain from the road, dirtying other vehicles’ windshields. Without proper wipers and cleaning fluid, a car’s windshield can dirty quickly and limit the driver’s visibility, causing accidents.

Tips for Preventing Accidents in the Rain

Driving in the rain is often unavoidable, especially in places with regular dry and rainy seasons. If you have to drive in the rain, you can follow these tips to stay safe and avoid car accidents.

  • Drive slower, but keep up with surrounding traffic. Driving slowly increases your time to react to dangerous situations and improves your tire traction, which can help you drive safely over the first rain oil mixture. However, avoid falling into the timid driver trap and make sure to keep pace with other cars on the road.
  • Do not brake too quickly. If you brake suddenly in rainy conditions, you could skid off the road. You could lose traction and crash into other vehicles or go off the road. If you do skid, keep calm, do not make sudden turns, and steer straight until you regain traction.
  • Avoid driving through buildups of rain water. You may see standing or flood water on the sides of the road – make sure to not drive through them. You could lose traction on the road and skid, increasing your accident risk.
  • Watch the car in front of you. In the rain, your visibility decreases significantly and you can lose sight of conditions ahead of you. Watch for the other driver’s reactions and react accordingly. Make sure to keep a safe distance between your vehicles – rainy weather means increased brake time.

If you do experience an accident in the rain, remain calm and contact a car accident attorney. Your attorney can help you recover compensatory damages following your accident, including medical expenses and property damage.