Home Blog Car Accident San Diegans Face Increased Dangers on the Road When It Rains

San Diegans Face Increased Dangers on the Road When It Rains

By Eugene Bruno on March 30, 2024

Have you ever thought to yourself that everyone forgets how to drive when it rains? If you’re in California, you’re not alone in thinking that. Recent heavy rainfall in San Diego has highlighted not only inadequate infrastructure, but poorly prepared drivers as well. It’s easy to get used to good weather in Golden State – so much so that a little precipitation causes major chaos on the roads. Sometimes, a combination of unsafe road conditions caused by rain and unprepared and careless drivers can cause an accident.

More Rain Equals Unsafe Roads

In San Diego and most of California, our weather is beautiful, sunny, and dry nearly year-round. When the rain hits after 9 or 10 months of sun, a lot can happen, none of which is good for your driving safety. Some physical factors that contribute to unsafe roads when it rains include:

  • Oil build-up on the pavement. After nearly a year of dry heat, the build-up of oil and gasoline residue on road surfaces creates a slick surface in rainy weather.
  • Poor road drainage systems. Either from poor infrastructure planning or months of neglect, the road drainage systems may be unable to handle even a few inches of rain.
  • Inadequate or nonexistent road “crowning.” When a road is higher in the middle and lower on the sides, it is “crowned.” Roads not crowned correctly result in hazardous flooding and standing pools of water, causing vehicles to hydroplane.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHA) has even measured the effects of bad weather on vehicle crashes. The FHA states that 75% of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on wet pavement, with 47% during rainfall. Using a ten-year average, the agency estimates nearly 5,700 people are killed, and 544,700 are injured in crashes on wet pavement annually. About one out of every five car crashes in the U.S. occur during bad weather conditions.

How California Drivers React to Rain

Some factors that create perilous roads during rainfall relate to the Californians driving next to you. Whether they are timid, careless, or aggressive, here are some points that often come up:

  • They are inexperienced with driving in the rain.
  • They forget to use their lights and signals.
  • They follow too closely or “tailgate” on slippery roads.
  • Their tires or windshield wipers are not road-ready for rainy conditions.
  • They refuse to change their aggressive driving tactics to adjust to the bad weather.

How to Stay Safe While Driving During San Diego’s Wet Season

While you can’t always control the drivers around you, you can take proactive steps to keep yourself safe when you are on wet roads, such as:

  • Drive slower. Ensure you stay at a reasonable speed to maintain traction on slippery roads. Don’t make turns or stops suddenly; it could cause your car to skid out of control.
  • Give yourself and others space. Use a safe following distance. If the car in front of you starts to hydroplane, you don’t want to be right behind them.
  • Make yourself extra visible. Turn on your lights, even if it is daytime. Use your turn signals well ahead of time so the cars behind you can slow down.
  • Keep your vehicle maintained. Regularly make sure your windshield wipers work, and your tires provide adequate traction.
  • Avoid standing water or submerged roads. As much as possible, don’t drive through standing water. It can hide potholes and other hazards that could damage your car. Deeper water and submerged roads should be avoided. Water can get into the engine, causing it to stop altogether.

Stay Safe with Eugene Bruno & Associates

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident during bad weather, Eugene Bruno & Associates is here to help you feel safe again. Our team has over 40 years of experience helping accident victims get their full and just compensation. With tens of millions of dollars recovered for our clients, we will fight for you so you can focus on your recovery. Call our San Diego car accident lawyers today at (619) 209-6066 for your complimentary case consultation.

Posted in: Car Accident