Even drizzling rain can significantly up the risk of getting into a car crash in Kentucky and elsewhere, according to a new study. The findings were recently published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
For the study, researchers at the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies analyzed data from 125,012 fatal car accidents that happened across the Lower 48 states between the years of 2006 and 2011. Previous studies have used police reports and data from the nearest weather station to analyze crash conditions, but this study utilized information from weather radar, which is more accurate. This data helped researchers determine the rate at which rain or snow was falling at the time of an accident.
Researchers found that, in general, the presence of rain, ice and snow increased the chances of getting into a fatal wreck by 34 percent. However, they also found that even light rain increased the risk by 27 percent. Meanwhile, moderate rain boosted the chances of a deadly accident by 75 percent and heavy rain increased the chances by almost 2.5 times. The lead author of the study said he believes drivers fail to understand just how hazardous light rain can be. To avoid accidents, safety experts say that drivers should slow down whenever roadways become wet.
Drivers who fail to slow down in rainy weather can cause serious car accidents. Victims of accidents caused by other parties have the right to pursue legal action in civil court. For instance, with the help of an attorney, an injured victim could file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, lost wages and property damage. Victims could have their case evaluated by contacting a law firm that handles car crash claims.