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Everybody knows that car wrecks are more likely to happen when driving in rain, snow, or other bad weather than when it’s pleasant outside. However, more people get into car accidents in these conditions than most people may think. Of course, sometimes driving in bad weather is unavoidable, but there are ways drivers can increase the chance of being safe even if it’s raining cats and dogs. 

Car wrecks while driving in the rain are common.

It’s happened to most drivers while on the road. You’re on the way somewhere, and all of a sudden, or maybe there was a warning, bad weather starts. Of course, this could be intense rain or snow, but either way, it becomes harder to drive due to the weather conditions. Unfortunately, the Federal Highway Administration says this is the cause of about 21% of the almost 6 million car accidents each year. 

Driving in bad weather like rain, snow or fog is dangerous
Driving in fog | vlado85rs via iStock

Sadly enough, these weather-related car wrecks equate to 5,376  fatalities and 418,005 injuries annually. In particular, rain happens to be the most dangerous weather condition. It makes up a whopping 46% of all weather-related car accidents. This happens because most drivers assume they can handle the dangers of rain. 

Driving in the rain causes so many car accidents for several reasons. Hydroplaning is one of the big ones. This is when your car glides due to losing contact with the road because of increased water. Also, it’s much harder to see during intense rain, which makes car wrecks much more likely. Additionally, the slippery roads also mean the stopping distance is higher. Because of this, staying as far away from other vehicles on the road is paramount. 

How to stay safe while driving in snow or other bad weather

Perhaps the easiest way to avoid car wrecks because of the weather is to skip driving. However, there are times when it’s necessary, but there are ways to put safety first in these situations. For one, you shouldn’t drive at high speeds. People often suggest reducing speed to about 1/3 of what you’d typically travel. As an example, if the speed limit allows for 70 miles per hour, driving in the mid-40 mph range is best. 

It’s also important not to brake too suddenly as it needs to be a much more gradual process than under normal conditions to avoid car wrecks. In general, drivers should avoid sudden movements, especially steering. Also, as much as possible, given the poor visibility, stay closer to the middle of the road while also avoiding the other lane because the edges of the road can be the most dangerous. 

Lastly, driving in rain or snow requires your full attention. This means avoiding all the usual pitfalls of distracted driving such as using your phone or other devices.