This winter has been a wet and rainy one for those living in the Bay area. Multiple storm fronts over the past few months have brought heavy downpours and damaging winds, making roads dangerous and wreaking havoc for drivers. While these types of conditions may seem relatively mild compared to the snow accumulations experienced in more eastern parts of Northern California, they increase motor vehicle accident risks, something all drivers need to be aware of.
Additional Heavy Rains Slam San Jose and Bay Area
While wet winter weather is nothing unusual for San Jose, the recent round of storms have been particularly potent. In early February, a harsh winter storm front brought inches of rain, high waves, and gusting winds to the local area, spurring mandatory evacuations for places recently impacted by the wildfires. All residents were warned to be alert for downed trees and power lines, as well as dangerous road conditions which could present serious hazards for drivers.
After riding out these heavy storms, the Bay Area has continued to get battered by additional adverse weather fronts. Forecasters described this as a ‘potent atmospheric river’ over Valentine’s Day weekend that was likely to lead to additional flooding, power outages, and downed trees. With soil already saturated due to previous drenching rains, this new storm could bring landslides, potentially wiping out some roads.
Local Drivers Urged to Use Caution
Drivers are warned to be extremely cautious when traveling and to avoid going out during storms if at all possible. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), roughly 20 percent of all car accidents are weather-related and of these, more than 40 percent are attributed to heavy rains. Be alert to the following effects, which rain and wet roads can have on your driving ability:
- Decreased visibility due to wet or foggy windshields and headlight glare;
- Poor tire traction, due to moisture on the roads;
- Increased risk of unexpected road hazards, such as flood debris, mudslides, and road collapses; and
- The need for quicker response times due to heavy traffic conditions.
Be especially cautious when driving on bridges where wind gusts are likely to be most severe and any time you see standing water on the road. Puddles can be deceiving and may be more treacherous than you think. Even one or two inches of water can cause your vehicle to hydroplane, while deeper puddles could cause your engine to stall. In as little as six inches of rain, there is the risk that your vehicle will get washed away.
Contact Our Dedicated San Jose Injury Attorneys Today
When you or someone you love is hurt in a crash, the Jachimowicz Law Group is here to provide the trusted legal guidance and aggressive representation you need to get compensation for your injuries. Call our office at our office or contact our skilled San Jose motor vehicle attorneys online and request a free consultation today.