Do Work Zones and Bad Weather Conditions Cause Accidents? Or Should We Blame Drivers?

Rainy roads require drivers to be more careful not to cause a collision

Driving in work zones or on wet roads can be challenging. However, it is not the road work on the rain that causes car accidents. Instead, it is the negligence of the drivers in these potentially hazardous situations. Accordingly, it is important to know what to do so that you can avoid an accident the next time you are on the road facing rainy weather or construction.

Tips for Driving on Wet Roads

You may be able to prevent a rainy day crash by:

  • Keeping your lights on. This serves two purposes. First, it may make it easier for you to see; second, it may make it easier for you to be seen by others.
  • Making sure your windshield wipers are working properly. Windshield wipers need to be replaced regularly. If your wipers are leaving smears or are visibly worn, then it is likely time to take care of this relatively inexpensive piece of car maintenance.
  • Making sure your tires have sufficient tread and are properly inflated. Worn tires may not work as expected in the rain. The result can be hydroplaning and it may be dangerous or deadly.
  • Making sure your brakes are in good working condition. It is more difficult to stop quickly and safely with worn brakes.
  • Being aware of fog. Fog can develop quickly in rainy weather and make it difficult for you to see even a few feet ahead of you.
  • Avoiding cruise control. Cruise control can interfere with your ability to slow down simply by taking your foot off the accelerator, and it may cause you to brake more quickly. On a wet road this can be dangerous and cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Slowing down and keeping plenty of distance from the car in front of you. That way you can stop more gradually and reduce the likelihood that you will lose control of your vehicle.
  • Knowing what to do if you skid. It is easy to panic when your car begins to skid, but it is important that you don’t slam on the brakes. Instead, slow down gradually while you continue to steer the car in the direction that you want it to go.
  • Allowing more time for travel. This will help you from feeling stressed and allow you to slow down and take your time.
  • Traveling in the middle lane, if possible. This allows you to avoid standing water or runoff water on the edges of the road.

Of course, it is also important to drive defensively and to be aware of the potential for an accident if another driver does not follow these tips.

Tips for Driving in Work Zones

Seeing the telltale orange cones, flashing lights, or work zone signs can be frustrating. You don’t want to sit in traffic or spend additional time in the car. However, it is important to be patient and to do the following:

  • Slow down and keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. Make sure that you have enough time to stop your car in case the car in front of you stops, a person enters the roadway, or there is debris in the road.
  • If you need to merge into one lane, don’t wait until the last minute. Do not be aggressive. Everyone needs to merge, so be respectful and take your time.
  • Put away your phone and any other distractions. You need to concentrate on the complicated driving scenario ahead of you.
  • Expect the unexpected. Unexpected things can happen on road construction sites, so it is important for you to expect potential problems.
  • Watch for directions from police officers or construction workers. Make sure that you watch for last minute changes in traffic patterns and stops.

While it can be frustrating at the time, it is worth taking the actions described above so that you don’t live the rest of your life with the pain from an accident injury or the guilt of having killed someone else.

Kentucky Law Encourages Safety in Work Zones

Kentucky law encourages safe driving in work zones by doubling the fine for anyone caught speeding in a work zone. Workers need not be present and signs need not be posted in order for you to be subject to the doubling of the fine. If you are caught speeding in a work zone, then you may pay double what you otherwise would have had to pay.

Yet you may have been lucky to get out with just a ticket and not with a serious accident that has left you or someone else injured or killed. Work zones can be frustrating for motorists, but they are necessary. Accordingly, we encourage you to exercise patience and caution when traveling through them, and when traveling on wet, rainy roads.

Additionally, we invite you to share this article on Facebook or Twitter so that other drivers can learn what to do to avoid a crash in these challenging situations.

Mark K. Gray
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Louisville attorney serving the seriously injured in Kentucky