I left my law office in Bellevue
, Washington yesterday and on the drive home along I-90, it was raining lightly and it was dark outside around 5:30 pm. I realized that my wiper blades were old and didn't wipe the windshield as clearly as it should leaving streaks of water after each wipe of the blades. I make a note to myself to change them as soon as possible. Being able to see what's in front of you as well as to your sides and rear is important to driving safely.
It seems that when it rains in Seattle, you will hear at least one or more traffic reports on the radio about a car accident blocking the roads or highways. Sometimes these accidents involve injuries or in the worse case scenario, death. Rain, darkness, traffic, speed too fast for conditions
add up to a dangerous mix. You would think with all the rain we get from fall, winter, spring, drivers would be more able to handle the driving conditions but that's just not the case.
Anyway, driving on Interstate 90 westbound towards home, I noticed water from the rain that had accumulated in the grooves worn into the roadway by cars and trucks as they travel over the same surface day after day until they form "channels" of water. These can easily cause a motor vehicle to hydroplane
on the layer of water and lose traction and control of the vehicle. This usually ends up being an adrenaline pumping moment for the driver as the car loses traction, and the driver hopes and prays that the car doesn't go sideways or spin around and hit another car or semi-truck passing by causing a motor vehicle collision. The best thing to do in this situation is let off the gas and allow the car to reduce its speed so eventually the vehicle's tires hit pavement again and have some traction. I usually drive just to the left or right of these channels to avoid hydroplaning
After getting home, I was driving to my daughter's 1st grade Thanksgiving school play, along Fall City - Redmond Road which is a two lane roadway (one lane in each direction) with a speed limit of 50 miles per hour. There are lots of trees along the way and with the recent change in temperature, most of the leaves have fallen to the ground with many still on the roads. The wet leaves from the rain are slippery and can cause you to lose control of your car just like driving on the channels of water on the highway. Now with my old wiper blades doing the best they could to clear my view, the rain is coming down and the spray from passing vehicles force me to really focus on my driving. Their oncoming headlights make me look down at the lines in the road so I can stay in my lane of travel. It's my daughter's 1st grade play and she and her classmates have been practicing really hard for weeks to show their proud parents. I will make it safe and sound. Slow down when the weather is bad, get new windshield wipers, and be aware of the road conditions whether it be rain, leaves, snow or ice.
Category: Car Accidents
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