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Driving in heavy rain during hurricane season

The climate in places like Florida is susceptible to frequent rain and stormy weather conditions throughout the seasons of the year. One of the most active times of year is during the summer, specifically hurricane season in Florida, which typically begins in May and lasts through November. This is definitely a season for commuters to prepare for by being aware and implementing tips for hurricane safety and driving measures. We want you to know how you can avoid potential damages if you have to drive in this type of weather and if you cannot avoid a crash, how to handle the aftermath.

Here are the top tips for driving safely in heavy rain during hurricane season:

  • When driving with strong winds, anticipate gusts. Keep a firm grip on the wheel in case the wind moves your car and be mindful of the potential unawareness of other drivers commuting in the same weather.

  • Take your time when driving in heavy rain. Slowing down is the only way to keep your vehicle from hydroplaning, especially shortly after the rain begins because oil makes the roads very slick, so give yourself additional time. 

  • Make sure you have your headlights on and use your windshield wipers. Many states like Florida, require the use of headlights with use of windshield wipers even during broad daylight. 

  • Give yourself and other vehicles around you extra following space when it is raining. It is normally recommended to give at least a 3rd car’s length of space between your vehicle and the car you are following behind. For precautionary reasons, give even more space when raining. 

  • Always wear your seatbelt to protect yourself and avoid further injury if involved in an auto accident. 

  • Try not to drive if you really do not have to during the times of severe weather reports.

Driving in heavy rain caused my accident. What's next?

If you are involved in an unavoidable car crash while driving in heavy rain during hurricane season, it's not the end of the world. As you face the immediate aftermath of the car accident, stay calm and follow these steps:

  1. Carefully and quickly assess the situation. If you are able to move and not seriously injured, make sure your passengers are ok then get with the other involved party to exchange information.

  2. Contact police and get an accident report. Additionally, keep details in mind so you can record your own report of the accident in case this is needed in the near future.

  3. Contact your insurance company to notify them of the accident and start a claim.

  4. Don't wait! Get evaluated by a car accident doctor right away – One of the most common misfortunes regarding a car accident is when victims underestimate the effects of the accident on their bodies and reap the consequences at a point that is too late. Florida has a 14-day PIP law which significantly limits your right to full coverage of medical expenses and auto accident treatment if you do not receive an evaluation at the least within that two-week period.

Weather-related Car Accident Statistics

According to the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, there are nearly 1,259,000 weather-related crashes that occur each year; this is about 22% of the annual crash average. The majority of those crash victims report some form of auto accident injury, one of the most common being whiplash and/or back pain. Many people, particularly those that do not initially report injuries, forfeit their right to PIP coverage because their symptoms do not surface right away. Some don’t experience symptoms up to 6 months or even 1 full year following the accident, at which time treatment would not be subject to personal injury coverage because there was not a timely claim filing.

Overall, heavy rain can be expected during hurricane season, and it's not always avoidable. Taking additional precautionary steps can help you avoid getting in a car crash. However, if you are involved in a car accident, understanding the proper steps is key to ensuring you have ample coverage for your car accident injuries.  

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