SLOW DOWN FOR WET WEATHER: About 25% of all car crashes occur in bad weather, and most of those occur when the pavement is wet. Many drivers recognize that snow and ice can cause them to lose control of their cars, but most underestimate the danger that rain can pose. For this reason, more people travel in wet weather, and do not realize the need to adjust to lower speeds when traveling on wet roads. Following cars less closely is also a strategy that provides drivers with more time to react if something dangerous occurs in their path.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A CRASH? The laws of physics say that an object in motion will stay in motion, with the same speed and direction, unless it is acted upon by an outside force. So if you are traveling at 60 MPH and your car hits a solid wall and comes to an immediate stop, your body will continue going at 60 MPH until it is stopped by, say, a seatbelt, airbag, or, at worst, a windshield. If the car has a rigid body, the rapid deceleration caused by the impact will produce injuries and fatalities. Because the stopping time is only a split second, the force on the passengers is very high.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.-USA, and American Meteorological Society contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.