Driving in the rain is more dangerous than people realize

Your vehicle performs best when temperatures are moderate and weather conditions are sunny. Extreme temperatures, high winds and precipitation all contribute to the likelihood of a motor vehicle collision occurring in part because they affect your ability to control your vehicle and monitor your surroundings.

Weather is a factor in a significant number of crashes every year in Missouri, despite the state having more temperate conditions than many more northern states. Snow storms and blizzards are far from the only road conditions that directly contribute to someone’s crash risk. Rain storms actually significantly increase your personal degree of risk out on the road.

When it rains, your risk of dying in a crash goes up

Researchers look at the conditions at the time of crashes and the behavior of the driver’s involved to better understand what causes crashes. When they understand what causes collisions, it is easier to suggest safety systems or new policies that can reduce the number of people getting hurt or dying in traffic collisions.

If the pavement is wet at all, there is increased risk of a crash. Researchers have found that mild rain is enough to increase your risk of a crash by 27%. A moderate rainstorm increases your risk by a shocking 75%.

How can you protect yourself against the weather?

You can’t control when it rains or where you are when a storm starts. There are many times when you have no choice except to drive in the heaviest of downpours. There are certain ways that you can reduce your risk of getting into a crash if you have to drive in the rain.

Making sure you have good tires on your vehicle and keeping them properly inflated will increase your traction and reduce your risk of hydroplaning. Having good wiper blades will improve your visibility as you drive. Finally, giving yourself more time to reach your destination so that you can slow down could be crucial to your safety and everyone else’s when the roads are wet. Educating yourself about your crash risk at different times could help you avoid getting hurt in a motor vehicle collision.