Poor weather conditions are reported to be the cause of a deadly accident that killed two teenagers last weekend in southern Illinois, according to Suntimes.com. Investigators say that two 19-year old girls were driving to class in Carbondale during a thunderstorm and slid into an oncoming lane of traffic due to the rain-slicked roads. Their vehicle was then struck by the driver of a pick up truck and came to rest in a nearby creek. Eyewitnesses report that they tried to help the teens after the accident, but it was too late. Police say both girls died at the scene from the impact of the wreck. The driver of the truck was taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated and released. No citations have been issued in the accident, which authorities and family members are declaring “tragic.”
From the perspective of our law firm, while negligent motorists are commonly the cause of accidents and personal injury on Illinois roadways, hundreds of accidents each year are due to the uncontrollable and often times unpredictable onset of rain and poor weather conditions. These conditions definitely do not make the physical aspect of driving any easier, and also affect the manner in which we drive, whether that be excessively timid or dangerously reckless. Therefore, we would like to offer all motorists some information about how rain can affect driving conditions and what steps you can take to remain safe behind the wheel in these conditions.
As we all know, rain makes roads slick and slippery. Rain can make it more difficult to stay on a roadway, to stop, or to avoid colliding with other vehicles. The National Weather Service states that this is especially true when it first begins to rain because roads are most slippery at the beginning of a storm. In addition, rain reduces visibility and makes it difficult for drivers to see other vehicles, pedestrians, and street signs. When rain is combined with dirty water kicked up from the road by other drivers, windshields can quickly become dirty and make it even more difficult to see.
In these conditions, it is important to drive at a safe speed. Though this tip may seem obvious, many timid drivers who travel at unreasonably low speeds in the rain may back up traffic and increase the risk of rear end accidents, and reckless drivers who disregard the dangers that come with rain drive at high speeds and can also cause collisions. Driving at a moderately safe speed and keeping a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you can help increase your reaction times and will allow you to brake sooner if needed to avoid collisions. In regards to braking, refrain from braking too quickly; because the roads will be slippery, stopping your wheels too quickly may cause them to lose traction with the road and lead to skidding. If your vehicle does skid, remain calm and steer straight until you feel your vehicle regain traction.
Because poor weather conditions are something that every motorist will eventually have to face while driving, keeping these safety tips in mind will decrease the likelihood of an accident occurring and therefore reduce personal injury on Illinois roadways. If you have unfortunately been in an accident and suffered injury, medical expenses, or property damage due to the weather, be sure to contact your insurance company right away. In the case that you are in an accident as a result of a negligent motorist, seeking qualified representation is also recommended.
Our Chicago accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti represent individuals and families who have suffered personal injury or wrongful death because of the carelessness or negligence of a motorist. We have the proper experience needed to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you, informing you of your rights, and ultimately offering you the resources you need to seek legal action. Please contact us for more information.