Two things are a given about South Florida in the summer: heat and rain. Both are so common that residents of Florida hardly notice them any more. It seems like it rains every single day during the summer, especially during the evening rush hour. You get so used to it, that you barely even notice it. However, driving in the rain can lead to getting a traffic ticket. Especially in Miami Dade County where it seems like nobody understands the law. As a result, there are a lot of traffic tickets given out. Here are some tips.
TIP #1 Slow down
It is more difficult to maneuver your vehicle and to stop in the rain. If you get in an accident while it is raining and the police officer who shows up at the scene decides that you caused the accident, you can get several different traffic tickets. You can be charged with careless driving, reckless driving and driving too fast for conditions. When it rains, slow down to a safe speed.
TIP #2 Try to move over
Try to move over to the middle lanes of the interstate. Roads are designed so that water drains off to the sides of the road instead of pooling up in the middle. Because of this, when it is raining the middle lanes are a bit drier and safer.You are less likely to hydroplane. This happens when you are driving on top of the water, like a water skier. Thus, you have less control of your car. This means you are more likely to get into and accident and get a traffic ticket to boot.
TIP #3 Headlights
Turn your headlights on. Florida law requires drivers to turn on their headlights when it is raining. Do not turn on your hazard lights or your parking lights. Neither of those comply with the law. Did you read that. Yes, I am talking to the 60% of you who put your hazard lights on when you panic because it is raining like crazy. Don’t do it.
TIP #4 Beware of tourists
Be aware of drivers from out of state. Summer might not be the height of tourist season in Florida, but there are still many people from other states on the roads. Some of them might be from states that do not get a lot of rain. These drivers will not have the same experience as you do with driving in the rain. If you see someone with an out-of-state license tag, give them some extra room to operate. Additionally, not every state requires drivers to turn on their headlights when it rains. Be extra careful and make sure that you can see the cars ahead of you and that you can stop in time if they slow down.
If you do get a Miami Dade traffic ticket for careless or reckless driving in the rain, understand that the police officer’s word about what happened is not the final say. If you get in an accident and the officer decides to issue you a citation, it does not mean that the officer actually knows what happened. In most cases, the officer did not witness the accident. He’s just judging events based on what you and the other driver have to say. You will still get the opportunity to tell your side of the story to a judge who will make the final determination. So, don’t confess anything to the police officer who shows up at the scene.
As always, if you do get a Miami Dade traffic ticket, even if it is for careless driving in the rain, do not just pay it and forget. There is no such thing as paying it a forgeting about it. Your insurance company certainly won’t forget. You need the help of an experienced traffic ticket lawyer in Miami unless you have a burning desire to go to traffic school or to get points against your driver’s license. An experienced lawyer can help you with a Miami Dade traffic ticket for careless driving in the rain in a way that has least amount of hassle for you. Give our office a call and we will be happy to offer you a free consultation to let you know how we can help you.
Jason Diamond, Esq. is the Founding Lawyer Partner of the Traffic Ticket Team. His Attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience and have handled over 1,000,000 Florida traffic tickets. As Traffic Ticket Lawyers we have given traffic ticket legal clinic seminars throughout Florida. To find Attorney locations, click HERE. Our traffic tickets are defended in Miami-Dade, Broward & Palm Beach counties and we also fight traffic tickets statewide.