Los Angles County saw an unusually high number of crashes on its roadways in just a period of four hours the morning of Thursday, Nov. 29, after rain pounded the area. According to a KTLA news report, between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. alone, there were 365 crashes in Los Angeles County, a number that is four times higher than the day before. The collisions occurred as rain caused minor to moderate flooding throughout the metro area and created dangerous driving conditions that led to longer-than-normal commutes.
Several major crashes involving big rigs led to a number of lane closures on stretches of the 101, 118 and 134 freeways adding to the chaotic conditions. Several drivers interviewed by KTLA said drive times were much longer than usual. Another round of heavy rain is expected in the next couple of days and officials are already warning drivers to stay safe and take precautions while on the road.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, on average, there are over 5,891,000 vehicle crashes each year. Approximately 21 percent of these crashes – nearly 1,235,000 – are weather-related. Weather-related crashes are defined as those crashes that occur in adverse weather conditions such as rain, sleet, snow, fog or severe wind. On average, nearly 5,000 people are killed and over 418,000 people are injured in weather-related crashes each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Tips for Road Safety in the Rain
Driving in rainy weather or slick conditions can be tricky especially for Southern Californians who are not used to these types of conditions. Here are a few tips that could help:
- Hydroplaning can occur when a vehicle is traveling too fast in heavy rain causing the vehicle’s tires to travel on a thin layer of water rather than grip the surface of the road. This has the potential to make steering and braking difficult and could lead to loss of vehicle control. Take your time when you drive in the rain. Slowing down is the only way to keep your vehicle from hydroplaning.
- The most dangerous time to drive is soon after it begins to rain as oils on the roadway make for slick conditions. In such cases, it might be a good idea to wait a while.
- Give other vehicles more space. Add a couple of extra seconds in he rain, which gives you and the cars behind you more time to react.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, please contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.