The weather in Florida is nationally famous for being warm and pleasant for the most part. The Sunshine State enjoys not just copious sunny days but also regular rain storms that create lush foliage. Rainstorms are common, sometimes near daily experiences in certain communities. They may only last for a few minutes or a couple of hours at a time.
Florida residents and regular visitors quickly become acclimated to the idea that storms are part of daily life in Florida. However, their comfort with rainy weather might do them a disservice if they stop treating it like the traffic risk it actually is.
Rainy weather is surprisingly dangerous
When looking at federal data about car crashes related to weather, the biggest hazard surprises most people. Snowy and icy streets that Florida visitors often want to escape only cause a minority of the weather-related crashes that happen each year.
Wet pavement is actually the leading cause of weather-related collisions. According to a review of federal collision data, roughly 75% of crashes attributed to weather in the United States occur when the roads are wet. Rain storms themselves cause 47% of weather-related collisions. Falling rain can affect driving safety and visibility. However, the wet pavement left behind after the storm ends is a serious safety concern that can affect tire traction.
Drivers can experience increased stopping distances and decreased ability to maneuver accurately on wet pavement. They need to leave more space between their vehicle and others while also maintaining lower speeds. Most drivers in Florida do not make significant changes to their driving habits when the weather leaves wet pavement behind.
Those involved in weather-related collisions do not receive immunity from personal responsibility. Motorists should adjust their driving habits to reflect current road conditions. Someone involved in a crash caused by someone driving too fast or too close while the pavement is wet may have reason to blame that other motorist for the crash that occurred. They may be able to pursue a liability insurance claim or possibly even a personal injury lawsuit if they have significant expenses.
Ultimately, connecting collision risk to weather patterns in Florida may help people reduce their risk of a wreck.