Surely you have asked yourself at some point why are there so many traffic jams when it rains? There are many, different reasons why this happens. Surely on more than one occasion, you have been surrounded by a huge traffic jam when there has been bad weather. Hours and hours stuck on the highway, with the car at a standstill and not knowing what to do. In this situation, you will have asked yourself why do traffic jams happen when it rains? Here we explain some of the main reasons why traffic jams can happen on the highway.
Driving in poor weather conditions such as rain, snow or wind can mean certain road safety risks. With a series of precautions and changes to the way you drive, these can be counteracted. However, there are other consequences beyond drivers’ control that may turn the car journey into a more difficult experience.
As mentioned, on rainy days there is a greater number of traffic jams compared to days with more pleasant weather conditions. The main reason, that most people recognise as the main reason for traffic jams on rainy days, is that cars are driven at a much slower speed. This is because of the decreased stability, visibility and increased reaction time. Which leads to a build-up of vehicles, leading to a queue of traffic. While holding true, this is not the only reason why traffic jams occur.
As you will have realised, on rainy days people use the car more than days when the sun is shining. Many people, used to walking or using public transport, opt to use the car on stormy days in order to not get wet. This means that there is a greater number of vehicles on the road than there is usually.
According to expert studies, the fact that people use the car more on rainy days is the number one reason why traffic jams are more common on these days. Recent estimates put the number of cars on the road on a rainy day at 150% compared to those found on a sunny day.
As mentioned above, rain changes a series of parameters in the car that directly influences driving. For example, during a storm visibility is reduced by up to 60%, which means a sudden drop in speed.
Another of the main reasons for traffic jams is the extreme precaution from many drivers. As it is raining, they choose to drive apprehensively which, far from being safer, becomes a problem for them and for other cars driving on the road. Other reasons include: slippery pavement, which may cause an accident with its consequent kilometre-long queue, or the numerous traffic light failures that happen in all cities on days with heavy rain.
You must exercise caution when it rains, as the car’s reaction time is greater, and visibility and stability is much less. Any mistake at the wheel on a day with heavy rainfall can cause an unwelcome accident. So, you must pay attention to the road and take as many precautions as possible. You must be even more careful when driving at night.
One of the aspects of driving that must be changed is the speed, which must be reduced. However, you must maintain a speed that is not too slow as this could also cause an accident. As you know, quickly accelerating and heavy braking is not helpful in any situation, but it is especially dangerous in poor weather conditions. So, try to drive as smoothly as possible, using the clutch gently.
Other aspects which you must pay attention to include: keeping the emergency lights on during the traffic jam, make sure you keep the windscreen in top condition and make sure that the glass does not steam up keeping a suitable temperature inside the vehicle. If you follow all these recommendations, you will have no problem during those lovely rainy days.
Many things can cause kilometres of traffic jams on rainy days. Drive safely, taking the necessary precautions and you will avoid, where possible, traffic jams (at least as far as you are concerned). Be it when it rains or not, enjoy the road…but always carefully.