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How can road conditions affect the chances of a wreck occurring?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Car Wrecks

Traffic laws in Mississippi impose numerous specific requirements on drivers. For example, they generally need to maintain an appropriate following distance, use their turn signals and abide by speed limits.

However, there are also rules that require drivers to adjust their conduct in their vehicles based on road conditions. Often, discussions about poor road conditions focus on the types of inclement weather that are common in Northern states. People think of ice and snow as major safety risks. They may then assume that they do not need to adjust their conduct at the wheel in Mississippi. However, road conditions in Mississippi could very easily increase someone’s risk of a wreck.

Mississippi often features wet, rainy roads

According to federal collision statistics, snow and ice on the road only cause a small minority of the number of crashes that occur each year. Wet pavement and rain storms are responsible for far more collisions. Approximately 75% of weather-related collisions occur on wet pavement. Statistically, only 47% of weather-related crashes occur during times of active precipitation. Even driving after a storm ends can mean an increased collision risk for a driver.

Wet roads affect traction and force people to drive at slower speeds. They also necessitate longer stopping distances. If someone gets into a crash on wet pavement while technically complying with posted speed limits, an officer could still issue them a citation for causing the crash because they failed to adjust their conduct to reflect road conditions.

Other road conditions can affect safety too

Wet pavement isn’t the only consideration when evaluating one’s risk of a collision on Mississippi roads. Traffic density is another consideration. Visibility issues related to fog or darkness can also affect motorist safety. Even debris on the road from a recent crash could force people to slow down and increase the distance they maintain between vehicles.

It is only when drivers remain consistently aware of their surroundings and road conditions that they can make safety their top priority in traffic. Those who fail to adjust their conduct on the road for current road conditions could end up issued a ticket or declared at fault for a crash. Recognizing when a driver might need to adjust their conduct because of changing road conditions can benefit everyone who wants to stay safe and minimize their risk of liability when operating a vehicle.