Arizona drivers face some unique risk factors on the road. These risks may include various environmental and weather related risks and potential hazards associated with “snow birds.” “Snow birds” are part-time residents who return to Arizona in the winter each year to enjoy the beautiful Arizona weather.
How Arizona’s Environment Creates Auto Accident Hazards
The environment in Arizona leads to a variety of issues, including soil erosion and rockslides. Then there are the lightning storms and hail storms that happen in this state that can cause serious damage to your vehicle. It’s a good idea to completely avoid driving when the weather is bad, and to avoid areas where rockslides have happened or are likely to occur.
Soil erosion can also lead to sinkholes, where the roads are weaker and cracks can occur in the asphalt. This could cause significant damage to the undercarriage or axle of your vehicle. In the worst cases, a sinkhole can even swallow your vehicle.
Arizona is also prone to experiencing major dust and wind storms that make it very challenging for drivers to see any obstacles around them, including large debris that could cause serious accidents and damage to your vehicle. When you can’t see because of the dust and wind, it’s a good idea to pull over and wait for the storm to stop. Turn on your hazard lights if you do this, so that you will be more visible to others who are having just as much trouble seeing.
Flooding is also a frequent occurrence in Arizona, where a long rain storm produces too much precipitation for the dry soil to soak up. This can also create sinkholes and puddles so deep that they aren’t safe to drive through. For this reason, you should never attempt to cross a puddle where you cannot see its depth. Far too many people make this mistake and regret it when their vehicles are flooded or washed away by the current. It is also common for drivers to end up hydroplaning, when their tires cannot gain any traction on a wet road. This can lead to collisions with other vehicles or objects. Always be careful when it rains in Arizona.
Finally, even the most beautiful days in Arizona, with the sun shining brightly, can cause accidents to occur. When the sun is at its best, it creates a situation where there is too much glare, especially early in the morning and early in the evening. This can make it challenging to see traffic lights and to see the light signals of other drivers. It can also temporarily blind you if the sun happens to shine in your eyes or glare off of another object in your field of vision.
How Snow Birds Increase Arizona’s Auto Accident Rate
When the part-time residents of Arizona rejoin us in the wintertime, a time we affectionately refer to as snow bird season, they create more opportunities for accidents to occur. This is in part attributable to the fact that there is more traffic during this time. With more traffic, more vehicles on the road, the likelihood of an auto accident is increased.
This can also contribute to slower traffic, and drivers who aren’t really used to driving on Arizona’s roads. They may drive slower than the speed limit as they readjust to the environment. For this reason, we recommend that you make a point of leaving earlier than you usually would during snow bird season, and expect to deal with slower drivers. Remember that tailgating is not an effective way of getting anyone to drive faster, and it only increases the likelihood that you’ll not only be in an accident, but will be the at-fault driver.
Snow bird season is also a time of increased traffic congestion, as there are more and more drivers on the road, more who are driving slower than they need to, and more people who are relying on a GPS system to get around. GPS is often the best way for out of state drivers who are unfamiliar with Arizona to find their way from one place to the next. However, it is also an increased distracted driving risk. When people are too focused on their phones or other GPS devices, they are less focused on the actual traffic and roads they are driving on.
If you see someone else driving unsafely, or if you notice them looking down at a phone or other device, take measures to avoid that driver. You don’t want to be in the vicinity of a distracted driver when their distractions cause an auto accident. At the same time, if you are aware of erratic driving behavior that is likely to cause an accident, contact the police to inform them of the situation. You might end up saving a life by doing so.
Contact Nathaniel B. Preston PLLC After an Arizona Auto Accident
Whether your Arizona auto accident was caused by the weather or environment, or whether it was caused by the increased traffic congestion, lack of experience, and distracted driving behaviors of the snow bird season, Nathaniel B. Preston PLLC is here to help.
We can help you to recover compensation for your medical treatment, property damage, lost wages, and other associated expenses and damages after an Arizona auto accident. Depending on how the accident occurred, you may need to turn to the auto insurance policy of the at-fault driver or you may need to turn to your own auto insurance policy. Our determined Arizona car wreck lawyers are here to help you determine which route you need to take and to prove liability and the value of your damages.
Further, Nathaniel B. Preston PLLC offers a free, no-obligation consultation. This means that you have nothing to lose by getting the advice that you need to move forward.