Los Angeles residents don’t have to carry umbrellas for too many days out of the year. When it does finally rain in L.A., many residents believe it’s a bad time to be on the road. For whatever reason, there seems to be a surge in car accidents in Southern California anytime road surfaces get wet.
Some people believe that crashes during a rainstorm can be blamed on mother nature. But in car accidents, there’s always someone that can be held liable, no matter the conditions. That’s a fact that can be helpful to know if you are ever injured by a careless driver’s mistake while it’s raining.
Who Is At Fault in a Rainy Day Car Accident in Los Angeles?
Careless drivers already make travel on Los Angeles freeways and streets a sometimes dangerous adventure. Add in the hazards that wet roads can bring and there may be some truth behind rainy day accident fears.
However, when you get hit by another car on rain-slicked roads, it doesn’t mean that careless drivers may use the weather to skip out on liability for your injuries and car damage just because of the weather. They may claim that conditions were too wet and slippery and they couldn’t stop to avoid an accident. This isn’t a legal defense though.
Drivers in California are expected to travel at speeds “safe for conditions” no matter the posted speed limit. This means they must slow down in rainy conditions to a rate that allows them to maintain control of their vehicles and ensure the safety of others.
If a driver slides on a rain-soaked road and causes a collision, the officer will cite them for going too fast for conditions. The law maintains that a slower speed would have prevented the accident. Their insurance coverage can be forced to provide you with financial support as you heal.
L.A. Traffic Dangers on Rainy Days
Slowing down when it’s raining is always a smart idea. You aren’t just protecting yourself, you’re showing a “duty of care” to other motorists who could be harmed by your recklessness. It’s important to note that legally you are required to show that duty of care.
There are several added hazards on Los Angeles roads when clouds move in. These are just a few of the dangers and pitfalls that all drivers should monitor for:
- Hydroplaning – When the portion of the tire that makes contact with the road is lifted by water, motorists can lose all control of their vehicles. The faster drivers travel, the more risk they face of ponding water sending them sliding.
- Tailgaiting – Careless drivers engage in tailgating every day, especially on Los Angeles freeways. However, that practice is even more hazardous when roads become wet. Stopping can be much more difficult and tires can lose their grip at any time. Rear-end accidents are easily prevented by giving several car lengths of space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
- Avoid Slamming the Brakes – Going slower keeps you out of situations where you must rely on wet brakes and tires to save you. Every time you brake you are chancing that your tires will lose contact with the road.
- Bald Tires – Having tires with proper tread on them greatly reduces the chances that rainwater will rob you of grip with the pavement and control of your vehicle.
- Oil Build-up – Some experts believe car fluids and oil constantly build up on road surfaces. These substances wash away with each rain, but since L.A. sees so few raindrops, a sudden downpour can release a lot of slippery fluids on the road. Cars may go sliding, so, make sure to slow down.
Proof of Los Angeles Freeway Dangers in the Rain
Bloomberg CityLab reported on research into the relationship between rain in Los Angeles and accidents. A merging of accident numbers and weather reports did support the notion that California motorists don’t drive safely in the rain.
The research shows that in sunny weather (the norm), accident rates in Los Angeles peak around 10 crashes an hour between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. In rainy weather, the rate is well over 10 crashes an hour all day and often is closer to 15 crashes an hour.
The research did not try to explain why drivers seem to get into more accidents when California skies get gray. Bloomberg pointed to factors like Los Angeles drivers’ lack of experience with rain and just careless driving in poor conditions.
Contact a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney After a Collision
After an accident in Los Angeles involving a serious injury, no matter the weather conditions, don’t trust your recovery to the at-fault driver’s car insurance provider. Your enormous medical bills and lost paychecks at work can derail your financial wellbeing. It’s important to make sure an insurance company can’t escape blame for your damages by using tried and true tactics to rob you of compensation.
Contact the accident lawyers at Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC for a confidential free consultation and case analysis. We want to learn more about your accident and how it has impacted your life. We also will provide you with an opportunity to address your initial questions. After that, we’ll advise you on all of your legal options.