What Causes Car Accidents in the Snow?
Whether you are commuting to work or embarking on a long road trip, protect yourself by understanding the main causes of winter car crashes and the steps you must take to reduce your risk of injury.
The following are the major causes of winter car accidents:
- Ice roads
- Slick roads
- Neglecting car maintenance
- Poor visibility on the road
- Drunk drivers
Icy and Slick Roads
There is no doubt that the top cause of winter car accidents is ice and snow on the roadways. When the roads are icy and slick, the traction on your tires is less effective.
Additionally, you may encounter “black ice,” in which water freezes on road surfaces. Since black ice is difficult to see, you can easily drive over it and lose control of your vehicle.
If you drive over black ice or even a patch of ice, avoid slamming your brakes. Instead, simply coast over the ice and accelerate once you clear it. If you are sliding, align your steering wheel in the direction where you are trying to go and do not jerk the wheel in either direction, or else you may find yourself spinning out of control.
Lack of Vehicle Maintenance
The harsh winter elements can do a number on your vehicle, which is why having it properly maintained is of utmost importance. If neglect vehicle maintenance, you could be vulnerable to certain malfunctions and dangers on the road.
For example, driving with bad tires or inadequate tire pressure on slippery roads can often result in sliding or spinning out. If your defrosting system is not functional or your windshield wipers are dull, you cannot see the road clearly through your windows and mirrors.
You must replace or repair damaged or worn-down components and ensure your vehicle is safe for the winter months.
Snowy, raining, or foggy conditions can make it hard for drivers to see a few feet in front of you. Furthermore, since we find ourselves driving more when it’s dark outside because of daylight savings time, our ability to see at night is not as good when the sun is out.
If you are experiencing poor visibility while driving, drive at a slower as you normally would in order to better anticipate unexpected road conditions. Maintain a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles in front of you to avoid a rear-end collision. If you cannot see road markings, follow the tire tracks of other vehicles.
Holiday gatherings are typically associated with alcohol consumption, which is why there is an increase in drunk driving arrests and accidents during this time of year, particularly during the weekends.
If you plan on having a few drinks at a festive event, make sure you have a designated driver or have the Uber or Lyft app downloaded to request a ride home. You could also sleep over at a friend’s place or book a hotel/motel room if the gathering is far away from your home.
If you have been injured in a car accident in New Haven, CT, or within the surrounding area, call Action Law Group at (203) 439-3143 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation today. You do not have to pay us anything unless we win your case!