Most of the year is very dry in Los Angeles County. The total rainfall from April to October will only equal a few inches at most. It is a different story in the late fall and winter months. Then, there are several months of well above-average rainfall, and it can present potential issues for drivers. Motorists in Los Angeles can be unsafe under “ideal circumstances.” Many do not take the care that they need when the rain falls. If you have been injured in a car accident, you should seek legal help to see if you are entitled to financial compensation.
The Roads Are Far More Dangerous When it Rains.
According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration, three-quarters of weather-related crashes occur on wet pavement. Nearly half of them occur while it is raining outside. Every year, more than half a million people are injured in crashes that happen on wet pavement. Rain increases the risk of a fatal car crash by 34%.
Los Angeles weather comes and goes in cycles. The volatile weather means that there are only a few inches of rain totals in some years, with above-average rainfall in other years.
Surprise Rainstorms Cause a Surge in Car Accidents
Occasionally, there may be unexpected heavy rain out of season that causes havoc on Los Angeles roads. For example, there was a heavy summer rainstorm in July 2021 that caused over 170 reported accidents on city roads during rush hour. However, studies have found that it is more dangerous to drive in the rain in the middle of the day with less traffic than it is during rush hour. When the roads are more clogged, drivers go more slowly anyway and experience fewer of the risks discussed below.
The Specific Risks of Driving in the Rain
Although Southern California drivers do not have to worry about freezing rain, they do need to be concerned with the usual hazards of driving in the rain. In addition, the fact that it does not rain in Los Angeles means that drivers will be less experienced at handling these difficult conditions.
Slick roads and rainstorms present a number of issues for drivers, including:
- Potentially losing control of the vehicle in a skid
- Hydroplaning because the tires lose contact with the roadway
- Reduced visibility because of the weather conditions
- Standing water on the roadway
It Is the Most Dangerous When Rain Begins to Fall
Conditions are often the worst when it first begins to rain. The road is the most slippery when the rain begins to fall. In addition, the first drops of rain will mix with oil and other slick substances on the road to make them even more hazardous. The cracks in the road are often filled with dangerous substances that come up to the road surface when it first starts to rain before they wash away.
Drivers often do not take rain seriously when it starts to fall, and they do so at their own peril. One study found that there is a high risk of crashes in these conditions because drivers are overconfident in their ability to handle the rain.
Driving the Speed Limit Can Still Be Considered Negligence
The legal test for negligence asks what is reasonable under the circumstances. The speed limit is not always the reasonable speed for a driver at all times. Instead, it is the maximum safe speed under the conditions that a driver can travel. There are times when it makes sense to go slower in order to be safe. A driver would and should not barrel down the Freeway at 55 miles per hour (if that is ever possible with traffic) when there is heavy rainfall. Here, more caution is warranted. If you have been injured in an accident with a driver going the speed limit in a rainstorm, there is still a strong chance that they have been negligent because they did not properly account for the conditions.
In addition to slowing down, drivers also need to allow more room between themselves and the vehicle in front of them. Wet roads can double the distance that it takes to bring your car to a complete stop. If a driver is tailgating another vehicle, there is an increased chance that they may rear-end the car in front of them, especially if that car needs to stop short because of something happening in front of them.
You Need Evidence that Shows the Other Driver Was Negligent
Like any car accident, you would need to prove what a driver was doing in the rain, that would make them legally responsible for your accident. Your claim could be complicated by the fact that witnesses may not have had an unimpeded vision to get a clear view of what the other driver did. They may have been preoccupied with dealing with the rain themselves, or they may not have been able to get a close look at another car. If you have been injured in a car accident in the rain, you would need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer to help gather proof and assemble the evidence necessary to prove liability in your case.
Then, an attorney would fight for you to receive the most possible compensation for your injuries. The responsible driver’s insurance company may try to pay you less than you deserve, but an aggressive and tenacious attorney will fight for you to get what you deserve. You have more power than you think when you file a car accident claim.
Contact a Los Angeles County Car Accident Attorney
The Arshakyan Law Firm provides you with determined and hard-hitting legal representation when you have been injured in a car accident. Getting top dollar for you when you are entitled to it is our mission. Your first step is to reach out to an attorney to discuss your case and learn your legal options. You can reach out to us online or call us today at (888) 851-5005 to set up your free initial consultation.