Last Update: 01/13/16
Storms are a part of life here in South Florida, particularly this time of year and throughout the summer. In fact, tourists and vacationers as well as part-time residents may not know, but Florida is known as the “thunderstorm capital of the United States.” It’s not unusual for The Sunshine State to get a thunderstorm every single day during storm season.
Which means, Florida drivers (as well as pedestrians and bicyclists) have to deal with the dangers of wet roads as well as the other hazards that come with storms here. Thunderstorms bring with them dark skies and less visibility, along with dense rainfall and high winds. We get a lot of lightning, distracting thunder, fallen debris (tree limbs, etc.), and flooding too.
Taking Extra Care When Driving in Stormy Weather
Florida drivers need to take extra care when driving their vehicles on Florida roads during a rain storm and afterward, when flooding may be a problem along with slick streets and road hazards tossed into the driver’s path by the storm. Avoiding distractions, driving slower, and being alert for dangers on the road are all important in order to avoid a traffic accident.
However, long before that driver gets on the road and faces the risks of driving in Florida rain there comes the responsibility of every driver to make sure that they are driving on wet roadways in a vehicle that has not been neglected.
Car Owners Who Neglect Car Care Invite a Crash
Here in Florida, car accident lawyers know all too well about how often an auto accident can be caused because of shoddy car maintenance. Procrastinating about car upkeep or trying to save a few dollars by delaying vehicle maintenance can end up getting people hurt and costing lives.
Unfortunately, Florida does not legally require annual car inspections, as many other states do. Drivers are left on their own to make sure their cars are safe to drive on Florida roads.
Any kind of mechanical failure due to lack of neglect can cause a crash. However, there are 2 particularly common causes of car accidents in Florida rain conditions due to improper vehicle maintenance: bald tires and worn brakes.
Most of us know, that tires that have little or no tread left are called “bald tires.” Bald tires on a car, truck, pickup, SUV, or minivan that has been in a Florida car accident are clear evidence that the driver was negligent to drive that vehicle on the roadway, especially in hazardous conditions of a Florida rain storm.
Why? Tires are only good as long as they are capable of securely gripping the road surface, and that’s very important when the vehicle is being driven on a rainy highway or slick wet road. If the vehicle’s tires do not have sufficient tread, then they cannot grip the road and the driver runs the risk of losing control and crashing.
That’s not all. Bald tires are dangerous for many reasons. Bald tires can just blow-out while the vehicle is driving at a high speed.
You’ve seen those black lumps of rubber alongside the Florida highway or Florida roads as you’ve driven past: those are all blown tires where the tire literally falls apart while the vehicle is being driven. The next time you see some tire debris on the road, let it be a reminder to you to make sure your family vehicles and those of your children and loved ones are safe to drive.
Bald tires are also weak and vulnerable to going flat. Driving when a tire is losing air pressure is always dangerous; doing so when the roads are slick with rain and in a storm with decreased visibility and higher chance of road hazards increases the odds of a car accident happening.
Every vehicle needs to have their brakes (especially their brake pads) inspected to make sure everything is in proper working order. Drivers in rainy conditions or storms may need to slam on those brakes to protect themselves and others — and if there is brake failure, serious and fatal traffic accidents can result.
If your car was make a squealing or scratching sound when the driver used the brakes before the crash, it’s evidence that the brakes were most likely worn and needed maintenance. Drivers who can feel that their brake pedal is “loose” or find it is taking longer to stop their vehicle is also on notice that their car needs immediate attention.
Evidence of the driver’s awareness of the need for care, as well as an expert’s examination of the vehicle after a crash, both can serve as evidence of the driver’s negligence in an injury claim.
Involved in an Accident During Florida Rain Storm: Injury Claim
In these cases, someone who is hurt here in Florida by being hit in a car accident during a rain storm need to consider not only the factor of the hazardous conditions caused by the rain, wind, and weather, but the condition of the wrongful driver’s vehicle.
If that driver was driving a vehicle with bald tires or bad brakes or other kinds of failure to maintain their car, then it is evidence of negligence on their part no matter how much they fingerpoint to the weather conditions as being the reason for the accident. (”It’s not my fault, the rain was so heavy that it caused the crash!”)
Having an experienced Florida car accident lawyer in these situations is important. The wrongful driver, along with his or her insurance company and defense lawyer, are going to argue that the accident was unavoidable due to the stormy conditions and they may try and downplay the tire evidence, brake evidence, etc., as well. Thus, having competent and experienced legal counsel to fight back against these excuses and defense tactics is a must!
What Should You Do Now?
A good piece of advice if you have been harmed in an accident, is to at least speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you file a claim to learn about some of the issues that can arise with these claims, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person) to answer your questions.
Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.