Most of us happily celebrate the arrival of spring after a long Pennsylvania winter. While spring brings higher temperatures and budding flowers, unfortunately it also brings the rainy season to the Pittsburgh area.
Rain, fog, and weather-worn roadways are all hazards that come with the rainy season. So, buckle-up and get ready to ride out the rain and other unfavorable spring conditions with these tricks for driving during Pittsburgh's rainy season.
Your risk of being involved in a car accident is two to three times greater in rainy conditions than in dry weather. The most important rule of driving in the rain is to slow down. The majority of accidents that happen in the rain are caused by drivers traveling too fast for the weather conditions.
And you don't have to be going over the posted speed limit to be driving recklessly in the rain. One safety expert maintains that "if you're on slippery road and it's a posted speed limit of 55, if you're going 40, you may be going too fast."
And remember to turn on your headlights—it's the law. According to PA law, a driver must turn on headlights when using windshield wipers continuously or at intervals in response to rain, snow, sleet, fog, mist or other weather condition. This is considered a primary offense, which means violating the law is cause enough for a driver to be pulled over by law enforcement. This can result in a $25 ticket, but after factoring in fees and other costs, the total can be about $100.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHA), fog is one of the most dangerous types of weather conditions for driving.
One of the biggest problems for roadways during the spring is the increase in potholes. These gaping road craters are problematic on a sunny day, but turn incredibly dangerous in the rain.
When a pothole is filled with water from a recent rainstorm, the reflective surface makes it difficult to tell the depth, so destructive potholes may look less threatening in the rain. The freeze-thaw cycle that occurs in the early spring only makes the problem worse by expanding the size and depth of potholes virtually overnight.
Potholes can cause damage to your suspension and car accidents. Consult our Ultimate Guide to Pittsburgh Potholes for how to deal with these depressing depressions.
The best offense against dangerous spring weather conditions is a good defense. Tune up your car in the spring to defend against the possible damage that rain, fog, and pothole-ridden roadways can cause.
Unfortunately, taking preventative steps can't always stop accidents from happening. Sometimes dangerous road conditions can cause car accidents. If you're ever injured in a car accident, it's critical to call us immediately before valuable evidence disappears. That's why we make it easy to contact us—our phones answer 24/7 or feel free to fill out our form online. Don't forget, you can also chat with one of our legal professionals live by clicking on the box in the bottom right hand corner of this page.