A lack of winter weather in general does not necessarily make Florida a safer place to drive. Florida has some of the highest levels of precipitation in the entire country. There could be daily rain, depending on the area of the state in which you are traveling, which poses a major safety concern for those driving.
The average person would probably tell you that snow, ice and sleet are what make the roads dangerous. Florida doesn’t really see that kind of weather in any significant amount. That might make you wrongfully assume that you don’t have to worry about weather-related crash risks. However, federal data about motor vehicle collisions shows that the opposite is true.
Roughly half of all weather-related crashes involve rain
According to a review of weather-related collisions, wet pavement and rain cause more crashes than snow and ice. Every time it rains, your risk of a collision temporarily increases. The storm itself and the wet pavement it causes both contribute to your chances of a wreck.
The Federal Highway Administration, part of the Department of Transportation, reports that 75% of collisions related to weather occur on wet pavement. 47% of such crashes occur during actual rainfall.
The agency estimates that 5,700 people will die in crashes caused by wet pavement. Another 544,700 people will suffer significant injuries in crashes caused by wet street surfaces.
Water on the road can lead to hydroplaning, especially when there is oil buildup on the pavement or when someone’s tires don’t have much tread left. Wet pavement can increase stopping distances, and traffic speeds tend to slow down when the pavement is wet. Sadly, the overall drop in speed is not enough to keep everyone safe. After all, some people will drive more aggressively to make up for slower speeds.
What can Florida drivers do for their own safety?
There are many ways that you can reduce your crash risk related to wet pavement. Keeping good tires on your vehicle is an important starting point. Slowing down during rainstorms, even a light drizzle, can also make a big difference. In fact, trying to avoid driving during active rain whenever possible is likely in your best interests.
Understanding common causes of motor vehicle collisions will make it easier for you to avoid a crash during your daily commute in Florida.