Weather changes can happen rapidly in Georgia-in moments, weather can shift from bone dry to a downpour, or burning hot to freezing and vice versa. Drivers need to be prepared for these sudden weather changes, as well as able to recognize that other drivers may not understand how weather changes affect Georgia roadways and adjust accordingly.
Weather affects all who drive; not understanding or reacting to changes in road conditions due to changing weather conditions is dangerous to anyone behind the wheel in Georgia. Recently, a Sheriff’s deputy was critically injured when inclement weather caused his patrol car to hydroplane, slide into the ditch and crash into an energy pole. The deputy walked away from the Georgia car accident with minor injuries.
Rain, Flash-flooding and Hydroplaning
One of the most common road hazards that can strike suddenly is flash flooding. When a heavy rain begins, especially after a long period of dryness, water doesn’t absorb into the ground quickly enough and flooding can happen. Water can rush onto the road so fast that within a split second you can hydroplane off the road.
According to the Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, wet pavement is the cause of three of every four weather-related car accidents. Those crashes account for over half a million injuries to travelers throughout the United States. Hydroplaning occurs when a layer of water forms between the tires of a motor vehicle and the road upon which it is traveling. The tires lose contact with the road and lose traction; once traction is lost, the car will not respond properly to braking, slowing down, speeding up or steering generally. If all four wheels of a car lose contact with the road, the vehicle essentially becomes a sled, sliding along the water-covered road.
Always be alert when a strong rain starts, especially since other drivers may not be. If your vehicle does go into a skid, knowing applicable defensive driving techniques may allow you to steer yourself out of danger. Do not slam on the brakes, instead tap your brakes in a stutter motion and steer into the skid.
Standing Water Can be Just as Dangerous As Rainfall
Another Georgia man was killed when the SUV he was driving hit a standing patch of water and sending the vehicle into a spin that ended with a crash into a tree on the median. His passenger was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Although both were wearing seat belts, the road conditions were enough to cause a loss of control, resulting in the injuries and fatality.
When you are driving the roads in Georgia, and throughout the United States, changing road conditions can pose just as much of a danger to your safety and the safety of your passengers as other drivers on the roadway. If you’ve been injured in a car accident related to weather conditions, an experienced Georgia attorney can help you sort out the facts and pursue the compensation that you may be entitled to for your injuries.