Even as you rejoice in the arrival of Spring and the end of cold temperatures, you may also breathe a sigh of relief knowing that winter weather conditions will present less of a threat in terms of South Carolina car accidents. Unfortunately, now is not the time to let down your guard or become complacent. Data from the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) reveals that the percent of collisions linked to winter weather driving conditions is actually quite low: 16 percent of crashes happen because of slushy streets, while just 13 percent are associated with icy pavement.
Considering that South Carolina “winter” is short and brings little snow, it is important to focus on how weather conditions impact motor vehicle collisions at other times of the year. It is important to retain a Greenwood County, SC auto accident lawyer if you were involved in a crash, but here are a few types of Spring weather that can increase the risk.
When considering all types of precipitation, you might be shocked to learn that 70 percent of all weather-related collisions are a product of wet road surfaces. There are more than 860,000 motor vehicle accidents every year caused by wet pavement, leading to around 4,000 fatalities and more than 324,000 injuries to victims.
While Greenwood County may not see much snow, plenty of precipitation falls in the form of sleet. This weather condition is especially hazardous because it can develop when temperatures dip during a rainstorm, or as they rise and melt any accumulated snow. The hybrid nature of sleet creates extremely slick surfaces that prevent a vehicle’s tires from gaining traction, so motorists must take extra precautions to avoid causing a collision.
Around 45 inches of rain falls in Greenwood in an average year, and it can come down heavily at times. One of the biggest risks in a downpour is hydroplaning, the phenomenon that occurs when an automobile’s tires cannot whisk water away quickly enough to maintain traction. The vehicle begins to slide across the surface of the water, losing contact with the road; at the same time, the driver loses control over steering and braking.
Note that the hydroplaning is more likely to occur within the first 10 minutes of rainfall. This is because the moisture mixes with residual oil on the road surface, making it slick before motorists even realize that rain could impact their driving.
A common weather phenomenon in many parts of South Carolina, the primary threat with fog is lack of visibility. Careful drivers respond to foggy conditions by:
- Decreasing speed
- Turning off the cruise control
- Switching on low-beam headlights, since bright high-beams reflect off fog and cause glare
- Pulling over when the fog is too thick to safely operate the vehicle
Failure to use caution when driving in fog may be an indication of negligence, which is the basis for car accident claims.
Scorching temperatures heat up road surfaces, making slippery oil even slicker. Plus, drivers who do not properly maintain tire pressure could experience a blowout, potentially leading to a loss of control over the vehicle. Some studies even suggest that driver performance falters as the mercury rises.
Speak to a South Carolina Auto Accidents Attorney About Your Legal Remedies
Motorists put all road users at risk when they do not account for these and other types of weather, so it may come as a relief to know that victims have options for recovering monetary damages. For more information on your rights and the legal process, please contact Powers Law, LLC to schedule a case evaluation at our office in Greenwood, SC.