Authorities Indicate Rainy Weather Was a Factor in Fatal Forsythe County Crash
While summer can result in a spike in motor vehicle accidents as people spend more time behind the wheel of their vehicle traveling on vacation or to visit family, the fall season poses a new type of motor vehicle accident risk. Weather is a factor in many motor vehicle collisions because it can impact stopping distance, vehicle handling, visibility and otherwise impair driving ability. We urge drivers to exercise caution when driving in rain, fog and even harsh winds. A tragic Forsythe County crash two weeks ago that claimed the lives of a young girl and her mother provide a grim reminder of the need to exercise extra caution when driving in adverse weather conditions.
According to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), law enforcement crash investigators have indicated that heavy rains played a role in causing a fatal collision that claimed the lives of an 11-year-old girl and her mother who was driving the vehicle when it collided with another car. The mother died at the scene of the crash when she lost control of the vehicle while negotiating a curve.
While anyone operating a motor vehicle in the Atlanta Metro area or surrounding areas of Georgia should obey traffic laws, avoid distracted driving and never operate a vehicle when intoxicated or drowsy, extra caution is appropriate when dealing with poor weather conditions that interfere with one’s driving ability. When drivers fail to adjust their speed to account for the adverse impact of wet roads or limited visibility, basic driving maneuvers like negotiating a curve or stopping at a traffic signal can become treacherous.
One particular scenario that can cause a car accident when roadways are slippery because of precipitation is “hydroplaning.” The term “hydroplaning” refers to a vehicle that slides across the wet or frozen surface of the roadway so that a driver loses control of the vehicle. In rainy conditions, hydroplaning typically occurs when the tires of a vehicle encounter more water than they can safely disperse. Because the tires cannot scatter the collected water, a substantial amount of water is forced under the wheel which loses contact with the road surface. The loss of traction from even a narrow layer of water and the tires of a vehicle can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle by interfering with the motorist’s ability to steer or brake.
When driving in stormy conditions, the greatest risk is presented when it first begins to rain because the water mixes with oil deposited by vehicles on the surface of the roadway which can make the road extremely slippery. The risk is also greater at higher rates of speed so traffic safety experts advise slowing down when driving on roadways that are covered with water. Increased speed makes it more difficult for tires to disperse the water so it accumulates under the tire. Motorists can also reduce their risk of hydroplaning by ensuring that they avoid driving with worn or improperly inflated tires.
If you or a loved one is injured in a crash in which inclement weather is a factor, our Georgia car wreck attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.