Florida Car Accidents: Is anyone at fault or was it the rain?
The roads in Orlando get flooded in more ways than one during the summer months.
According to the National Climatic Data Center, for the months of June to August, the average rainfall in Florida is more than seven inches per month, making Florida the state with the most rain during these months.
For a Florida native, you know to expect a small deluge every afternoon. However, visitors know Florida as the sunshine state, so this sudden downfall of what can feel like hurricane-style rains may come at a surprise.
Weather can be a huge factor when determining who is at fault in an accident. The driver at fault in an accident will determine how much is covered by each insurance agency.
While weather can be a factor, many other factors are in play when determining fault such as direction of motion, how closely the cars were following, was there any phone usage, or how fast were they traveling.
The above factors can all relate to one term: negligence. When reporting the incident to law officials and to the insurance companies, they are listening closely to the details to determine if there was any negligence.
If there is negligence found, they will go on to decide if it was from one or both parties, which will determine who will be covering what percentage of the damages.
There are a few things that you can do when the sky opens up and buckets rain begin falling:
1. Drive slower
The water on the roads will bring the oils up to the top and cause the roads to be more slippery. This layer of oil makes an accident much more likely.
With the amount of rain in Florida, it is possible that there is less oil sitting on the road, but it’s best to drive slower to allow for more time to react.
2. Pay close attention
Make sure that as you are driving in the rain that you are paying very close attention to the car in front of you but also keeping an eye on the cars that may be changing lanes.
It’s easier for cars to be seen if you have your lights on. Turn your lights on when the rain is extra heavy so that the cars around you can better see you as well.
NEVER put your emergency flashers on when the rain is heavy. If you feel that the rain is so heavy that you need flashers, it is best to pull over immediately and stop on the side of the road.
Flashers are used to indicate a stopped vehicle. If you use them while you continue to move you could actually be at risk of causing an accident.
3. Make sure to keep more distance between you and the car in front of you
By following from a further distance, you are allowing for if they brake suddenly. Although you are paying close attention to them, the roads are slippery and if you don’t keep more distance, you could be found at fault for not following at a safe distance.
A safe distance is mostly determined by exactly how heavily it is raining and how fast traffic is moving. However, air on the side of caution and follow at a distance further than you may find necessary.
4. Do not brake suddenly
Since you are following at a further distance, you shouldn’t need to brake suddenly. Do all that you can to avoid swift braking.
By braking suddenly, you can cause a build up with the cars around you, as well as issues with your brakes and the potential to drift into other cars around you.
5. If an accident happens, call a lawyer
Getting in an accident in inclement weather can be an extra sticky situation. Insurance companies are already difficult to deal with, but with bad weather it can be even more burdensome.
Make sure to reach out to an experienced law team to help you navigate these strenuous conversations.
Since 1966, the team at Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. has represented the Orlando community and Central Florida residents — that’s almost half a century. Combined, the team has more than 100 years of combined courtroom experience handling personal injury cases.
If you or someone you know needs guidance on their recent auto accident, our team of attorneys can be reached at any time.