April Showers Bring Flowers AND Make D.C. Roadways Treacherous: What You Need to Know

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 13-Apr-2017

Spring has finally arrived, which means our roadways should now be safer to drive, right?

Not so fast. Surprisingly, the Federal Highway Administration says rainy conditions account for 46 percent of weather-related crashes, as opposed to only 17 percent for snow and 13 percent for ice! Additionally, wet roads from rain, snow or ice contribute to nearly three-fourths of all weather-related accidents.

In reality, you need to be careful driving anytime the roadway is wet. Those April showers can be just as deadly for drivers as last February’s snowstorm—even more so, in fact, because more people drive in rain than in snow.

What Else Makes Roadways Dangerous in Spring?

Rain isn’t the only factor that makes springtime driving treacherous. Other potential dangers include:

  • Wildlife. As the weather warms up, more animals venture out looking for food, especially at dusk when it’s difficult for drivers to see them.
  • Cyclists. In springtime, you’ll be sharing the road with more bicyclists and motorcyclists who may or may not be wearing light-reflective clothing.
  • Potholes. Cold weather and de-icing salt and chemicals are particularly hard on roadways, causing dangerous potholes to form that can damage your car or cause you to lose control.
  • Severe weather. High winds and hail can both be extremely dangerous for motorists on the road.

Protecting Yourself

Despite the dangers, here’s what you can do to stay safe on the roads this spring:

  • Check your tires. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread. (If they don’t, replace them.)
  • Check your wiper blades. Good wiper blades will help you maintain visibility when a spring storm strikes.
  • Drive carefully on wet roads, and allow more time/space to stop. Cars need about 3-4 times more room to stop on wet roads than dry ones.
  • Watch the sides of the road for cyclists and other wildlife. Be extra vigilant at dawn and dusk.
  • Pull over during severe weather. Don’t attempt to drive in hail. If you see a tornado approaching, exit your vehicle and find a ditch or shelter.

For more helpful information on springtime driving safety, check out our post on 7 Spring Driving Tips.

If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, our Washington D.C. accident attorneys can advise you of your options. Call our office to learn more.
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