Oil on our Texas Streets
As I write this article, there is a light mist outside my office window on I35. This light rain mixed with oil on the roadway, especially after dry spells, can result in poor tire traction and often results in car accidents.
It is like clockwork, once it rains and the oil lifts to the surface of our Austin Streets, motorists start skidding and careen into the car in front of them. For over 17 years, I have seen our call volume spike considerably after the rains.
So what should you do once the rain starts? The best advice: Get off the roads. If you usually wait 15-20 minutes, the rain will have a chance to wash away the oil and other fluids which cause the majority of the rain related accidents. If you can’t wait for the rain to wash away the oil, give yourself at least 5 seconds extra with every braking event. If you usually start your braking at given point, increase that amount by at least 5 seconds, especially in oil soaked intersections. When you arrive to the intersection or stop sign, start tapping on your brakes so that the people behind you can see your flashing lights and hopefully will instinctively cover their brakes earlier as well. You should also reduce your overall speed by at least 20%, off the posted speed limit, in the first 15 minutes of a rain storm. These aren’t foolproof solutions to avoiding an accident, but based on my extensive history of car accidents in the Austin area, they will reduce your risk of an injury accident during a rain storm.
Stay safe Austin! Attorney Funk