In the past month, devastating winter storms have brought rain and snow to Southern California. These torrential downpours have led to flooding, road closures and fatalities. Water and debris clogged roads and sinkholes sprang up and swallowed cars, perplexing drivers and their passengers.
Even in the best weather conditions, Southern California roadways may prove dangerous to any driver. It is not worth risking your safety by driving in such challenging conditions.
Flooded roads and high winds
The weather has always played a significant factor in many motor vehicle accidents. Lately, the conditions in Southern California have been abhorrent.
The recent winter storms have brought weather conditions such as fog, high winds, precipitation, high water levels and wet pavement, all of which increase the risk of a motor vehicle crash. Fog and high winds diminish visibility, and high-water levels submerge road lanes. No driver should travel in these conditions.
Weather-related crashes on U.S. roads
Each year, U.S. drivers are involved in nearly 5.9 million road crashes. About 21% or 1.24 million happen due to weather conditions, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. By far, most weather-related motor vehicle accidents take place on wet pavement (70%) and during rainfall (46%).
Four driving tips
If you want to reduce your chances of getting into a crash during inclement weather conditions, follow these safety tips:
- Drive at reduced speeds: The recent storms demonstrate how drivers must consider road conditions when driving. Hydroplaning is possible when driving on wet pavement.
- Remain cautious and alert: Keep an eye out for unsafe, reckless and risk-taking drivers whose actions may lead to a collision.
- Maintain visibility to other drivers: Turn on the car lights and stay out of drivers’ blind spots.
- Increase following distance: This allows you to increase the time you have to react to different situations on the road. Consider following an eight-second driving distance rule when traveling.
Stay alert and avoid driving when poor weather conditions surface.
Stay alert and stay safe
More than 16 inches of rain pelted some Southern California communities. In some instances, the chaos led to people getting trapped inside their cars, or their cars being swept away. Please drive safely and always be alert to how weather conditions will affect your travels.