When winter weather strikes, it can bring with it more than just delay. Motorists should use extra caution when navigating snowy or icy roadways. According to the federal highway administration, of the more than five million vehicle crashes that occur each year over one quarter are weather related. It should be no surprise that car accidents occur more frequently when drivers are distracted, or otherwise impaired when driving. Weather conditions such as fog, rain, sleet, snow, wind or blowing storm debris can take away the otherwise safe driving conditions for motorists. Precautions can be taken to mitigate any damage if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by winter weather.
Common causes of winter accidents
Meteorologists across the country are now using the latest in technological advances in an attempt to protect their viewers from the dangers of winter weather. One of these includes regularly updated radar, which can show the paths of storms as they move through an affected area. Another tool shows viewers the changing temperatures of the roadways during major weather events. By allowing drivers to know whether road temperatures could support ice (i.e. under 32 degrees Fahrenheit), they can choose which roads to travel on and whether they should go out or stay in until the conditions are more favorable.
Weather events affecting roadways in winter include snow, ice, fog, sleet and combinations of all of these. In northern states that are used to experiencing extended winter weather, drivers can sometimes underestimate road conditions and that underestimation can lead to serious consequences. For example, the most recent winter storm Olympia caused thousands of people to experience power outages, delays across multiple modes of travel and countless injuries from accidents on slippery roadways.
What to do after an accident?
Anyone who is planning to brave the winter roads should be prepared in the event that they are involved in an accident. Nobody starts out on a driving journey expecting to be involved in a car crash. Accidents are often unavoidable, however, as one driver can only influence his/her own driving and cannot predict what other drivers are going to do. In conditions that create hazardous roadways, such as ice or snow, drivers are often involved in car accidents because of another driver’s carelessness. For example, it only takes one driver who fails to use the appropriate amount of caution to drive too fast on a patch of icy road and lose control. This driver’s car then becomes a projectile that can crash into another driver and cause a multi-car pile up causing many injuries and thousands of dollars in damage. One other factor that drivers often fail to realize is that they may be stuck in/around their cars until emergency vehicles can arrive and provide assistance. If drivers are not prepared with extra blankets and emergency gear, they may suffer from hypothermia or more severe health conditions.
Injured in an accident?
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, call the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C in Antioch today and speak to an attorney who can help. Our professionals have years of experience in the law surrounding auto accidents and can use their skills to protect your rights after an incident so that you can get back on the road to recovery.