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Rainy Weather Driving

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November 23, 2017
Edward Smith


Rainy Weather Driving

I’m Ed Smith, a Eureka car accident lawyer. As rainfall continues to blanket the coast of Northern California, local first response agencies are offering a few safety tips to help residents avoid injury-causing accidents while driving in inclement weather.

Slow Down

Humboldt Bay Fire Authority (HBFA), a firefighting department that services the cities of Eureka, Arcata, and McKinleyville, recently reminded area residents that travelers should leave early, allowing themselves ample time to reach their destination. Leaving yourself enough time to promptly arrive at your destination lets you drive more slowly. Driving over the speed limit is not only one of the most common factors in traumatic accidents, but is compounded in danger by rainy weather, which reduces drivers’ ability to stop quickly in the event of sudden changes in roadway condition.

Wipers and Discretion

HBFA also advised that drivers ensure that their vehicles are properly equipped for rainy weather. Ensuring that you have working wiper blades and that your headlights are properly functioning are important ways of increasing visibility and avoiding danger on rainy roads.

Another piece of advice offered by HBFA is to practice discretion when driving on questionable roadways. Drivers are advised to never drive through flooded roadways and to avoid large puddles. The depth of puddles and extent of flooding on roadways can be hard to determine and even if your vehicle is high off the ground, you may still be affected.


HBFA Fire Chief Bill Gillespie said that drivers should “drive for the conditions.” Gillespie advised that, in rainy weather, drivers should increase the distance between their vehicles and vehicles ahead of them so that they have ample time to slow down in case the vehicle ahead of them stops.

Gillespie explained that this is particularly important to do in rainy weather because even a small amount of standing water on a roadway can cause a vehicle to hydroplane. Gillespie said that hydroplaning can even happen to slow-moving vehicles and that slowing down over a period of time instead of braking suddenly is the best way to avoid losing control when stopping.

You can learn more about hydroplaning conditions here.

Pay Attention

As always, one of the most effective ways to avoid an accident is to simply make sure that you are paying full attention to the road when driving. Drivers who text, eat food, or do tasks that require them to shift their focus from the road greatly increase their risk of being involved in a serious collision. In rainy weather, this risk factor is even higher.

More Blogs from Eureka Car Accident Lawyer, Ed Smith:

Eureka Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Eureka car accident lawyer. Being in a vehicle collision can present serious difficulties. If you have received significant trauma in a collision, reach out to me at (707) 564-1900 for free and friendly advice. If outside the area, you can also use (800) 404-5400 or visit to contact me.

Since 1982, I’ve helped Eureka area residents claim the full amount they are rightly owed in claims including personal injuries and wrongful death.

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See my Past Settlements and Verdicts here., my website, North California’s top resource for getting info on local vehicle accidents and personal injuries.

pic: “rain driving” by MarkBuckawicki under Public Domain

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