Se habla español


Bad Weather Car Accident Prevention: Tips You Can Use

Home » Bad Weather Car Accident Prevention: Tips You Can Use
October 14, 2017
Edward Smith


Bad Weather Car Accident Prevention: Tips You Can Use

I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno car accident lawyer. Foul weather driving provides a unique challenge on the roads. While California is known for its beautiful weather overall, drivers still face inclement weather that can result in accidents. Knowing how to drive when the weather turns bad is essential to stay safe.

Bad Weather Diving

Some of the more common weather problems encountered by drivers in the Fresno area are rain and fog. On average, Fresno gets 11.50 inches of rain a year. During the months of November through the beginning of April, you have a 13 percent chance of rain on any given day. If you travel outside the area, heading north of Fresno, the possibility that you might encounter wintry roads laden with snow is strong. While staying home is often the best solution, that is not always possible.

Tule Fog Impedes Travel in the Valley

Described as one of the worst bad weather driving events, tule fog is common in the area, especially during the months between November and April, averaging 40 days a year. This dense ground fog, seen in the San Joaquin Valley, is due to ground cooling, particularly when there is high humidity after rainfall and in the winter months when the nighttime temperatures fall more and last longer. The fog can persist for days and sometimes for weeks and can include drizzle and even freezing drizzle, depending on the temperature.  

How to Drive in Fog

If your car is equipped with fog lights, turn them on. If you do not have fog lights, switch to low beams, since high beams make visibility worse. Slow down since your visibility in tule fog is about 600 feet or ⅛ of a mile but can fall to zero in a short distance. Either put your emergency flashers on or brake slowly upon moving into a fog bank, so vehicles behind you will be alerted you are slowing down.

Crashes in Fog

There are an increased number of multi-car accidents in areas of dense fog, particularly in higher traffic zones. In 2007, a 100-car pileup that included trucks and passenger cars killed two and injured many others. It happened due to fog near Fresno on Highway 99.

Rainy Weather Driving

The most important thing to remember when driving on wet roads is to slow down. Driving above 35 mph increases the risk of hydroplaning, which happens most often when the rain has just started and oil residue from the road is highest. When a vehicle hydroplanes, the water forces itself under the tires, eroding traction. Keeping tires inflated lowers the risk of hydroplaning as does not using cruise control. Check your tread before starting out by inserting a penny in a groove. If Lincoln’s head is visible, your tires may need to be replaced. If a defective tire is involved, you may have legal recourse against the tire manufacturer.

What to Do If You Hydroplane

If you begin to hydroplane, your front tires will slow, but the rear tires will lock, making you lose control of the vehicle. If this happens, never hit the brakes. Depending on whether you are driving a front-wheel or rear-wheel drive vehicle, either maintain light acceleration, or take your foot off the accelerator and steer lightly toward an open space if possible.

Fresno Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno car accident lawyer. Driving in bad weather can be dangerous due to negligent driving by other motorists. When you have been hurt or a family member has died, you need the help an experienced attorney can provide. Call me anytime at (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400 outside the area for friendly and free advice.

For over 35 years, I have helped those in Fresno and Northern California through wrongful death claims and catastrophic injuries such as brain injury or amputation. The physical and emotional toll of traumatic injuries requires that the compensation cover medical bills, lost wages and the pain and suffering victims undergo.

I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates group, which consists of trial attorneys nationwide who have garnered $1 million for clients.

Get more information about me and my practice by reading reviews on Avvo, Yelp and Google. You can see the type of recovery I’ve won on my previous settlements and verdicts page.

Learn more about legal issues here on, the website I created and own.

Photo Attribution:

:cd ds [cs 760] cv