Risks of Hydroplaning and Traumatic Injuries
I’m Ed Smith, a Car Accident Lawyer in Sacramento. Many people rely on motor vehicles to get to work, school, and to run errands. Unfortunately, when someone gets in a car, there is a risk of having an accident. Despite the driver’s education and numerous regulations surrounding motor vehicles, accidents still happen at a high rate. According to statistics published by the Association for Safe Road Travel:
- More than one million people are killed in car accidents every year.
- This is over 3,000 people every day.
- In addition to the fatalities, tens of millions of people suffer serious injuries in motor vehicle crashes.
- The majority of deaths from car accidents occur in teenagers and young adults.
- Car accidents are the number one cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 29.
- On an annual basis, road accidents cost the world over $500 billion per year.
Apparently, car accidents are a severe drain on families and governments across the globe. Despite the benefits that cars bring, it is essential to think about what kind of issues can increase the chances of having an auto accident. Some of the risk factors of motor vehicle collisions include:
- Human factors, such as poor driver training or distracted driving.
- Failure to properly maintain a vehicle.
- Drunk driving or driving while under the influence of prescription or illicit drugs.
- Poor visibility due to fog or rain.
- Slick or wet roads created by precipitation.
When someone is driving on slick surfaces, a car can slip and slide on the road, making it harder to maintain vehicle control. In severe cases, vehicles can even hydroplane. A recent study took a look at how wet roads impact someone’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, possibly leading to serious injuries.
Results of a Research Study: Car Accidents and Wet Roads
A study was completed regarding wet or slick roads and car accidents. According to researchers, few studies had been done previously on the impacts of road conditions on motor vehicle operation. Some of the statistics reported in the study include:
- Multiple prior researchers have found that drivers do not reduce their speed during active precipitation.
- Drivers do not increase their following distance when the roads are wet.
- Police reports in multiple states have found that teenage drivers are likely to drive too fast for road conditions.
- Researchers have quoted that slippery road conditions are one of the causes of car accidents in almost half of all collisions.
The researchers scoured the information from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, also known as FARS, over a period of five years. The researchers included auto accidents in which at least one person was killed. During the period in question, close to 31,000 accidents were analyzed. Pertinent statistics from the study included:
- Crashes on wet roads were implicated in around 20 percent of all accidents that were investigated.
- The accident rate and distribution were even across both genders.
- Accidents on slippery roads were highest among teenage drivers, with 16 years of age being the youngest driver.
- The accident rate on slick roads gradually declined until around age 70.
- After age 70, the accident rate began to rise again.
- The accident rates peaked during the winter months, with December and January showing the highest rates of accidents on slippery roads.
- The hours between 5 AM and 9 AM had the highest rate of crashes on wet roads.
Discussion of the Research Study
There are several important takeaways from this research study. First, it is clear that slippery road conditions are a significant factor in thousands of car accidents on a regular basis. Furthermore, those who are new to the wheel or who have aged are at a higher risk of suffering a car accident on the roads, and these accidents could lead to wrongful deaths. There are several reasons why wet roads increase the chances of someone having a car accident, including:
- Decreased visibility during driving in rain or snow.
- Driver fatigue during the early morning hours.
- Increased distance required to stop due to reduced friction between the tires and the road.
- Speeding – driving too fast for the conditions of the road.
- Not leaving enough gaps between cars to account for the increased stopping distance.
- Decreased daylight and worse weather during the winter months.
- Inadequate risk assessment among younger drivers.
- Poor reflexes among older drivers.
The study closed by suggesting ways that these accidents could be alleviated. Examples of suggestions include:
- Requiring all teenagers to complete driver’s education courses as a part of their regular school curriculum.
- Administering these courses during the fall months, right before accident rates peak.
- Providing “skid training” courses to teenagers.
Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer
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Image Citation: The image at the beginning can be seen in its original form on Pixabay. It has been printed on this post with permission.
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