As the winter months quickly approach, so do the dangerous road conditions that they bring. During the winter months where temperatures drop and snow falls, tens of thousands of people are injured in car accidents, and up to 1,000 people are killed. There are a variety of factors that contribute to the rise of car accidents in the winter, and this article will outline a few to look out for when the time comes.
1) Black ice
If you aren’t exactly sure what black ice is, it is a thin layer of transparent ice that coats and covers solid surfaces like roads and sidewalks, making them extremely slippery and hard to detect. For drivers in the winter, black ice poses a dangerous threat on roads, causing drivers to lose control of their vehicles and often crash into other cars and objects. This winter, it is best to exercise caution and drive slowly if the threat of black ice is present on the road in order to avoid car accidents.
Driving during a snow, sleet, or rain storm, the visibility on the road is compromised. Many drivers do not exercise enough caution when this factor comes into play. When the ability to see clearly is jeopardized, drivers often find themselves getting into more accidents, specifically rear-end accidents. When caught in low-visibility conditions, it is best to avoid your high-beam lights, and opt for fog lights instead. Prepare for low-visibility on the road by making sure all of your car windows are clear of snow/ice, defrosting your car, and checking your tires.
3) Drunk Drivers
The winter season also brings the holiday season. Many holiday parties include alcohol, and there are a significant amount of intoxicated drivers on the road in the winter. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s give reason to celebrate, but some make the irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel after drinking. This winter and holiday season, be alert and on the lookout for signs of drunk driving, especially in extreme weather conditions. Some signs of drunk driving include, but are not limited to: swerving, inconsistent braking/acceleration, and speeding.
There are plenty of other hazards on the road during the winter, but these are a start to prepare you for the months that lie ahead. If you find yourself in a car accident this winter, be sure to take photos of the scene, receive appropriate medical attention for your injuries, and if necessary, contact a car accident attorney.