Most Causes of Common Winter Car Accidents
Feb. 13, 2020
If you’re living in the cold parts of the country, winters can be brutal for driving. From icy roads to blinding snowstorms to freezing weather, a host of dangers can cause all kinds of accidents while you’re on the road.
That’s why it’s important to know the common causes of winter car accidents and how to prevent them. Here are three winter conditions that can seriously impede your ability to drive safely.
1. Slippery Roads
As temperatures drop, roads can become a slippery mess and create a difficult environment for driving safely. Black ice is especially dangerous because it’s extremely slippery yet hard to see due to the thinness of the icing.
Even if you break hard, chances are your vehicle will spin out of control without stopping. For this reason, rear-end collisions are one of the most common winter accidents. Slippery roads can even send cars sliding through an intersection.
So, how do you prevent icy road crashes? First, it’s very important to leave ample space between cars. A good rule of thumb: always stay at least eight seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.
Second, speed is your greatest enemy on an icy road. Make sure to take extra time with every action you take on a slippery road. This includes accelerating, stopping and turning.
2. Poor Visibility
Heavy snow, hail, blizzards and other winter precipitation can significantly reduce visibility for drivers and lead to icy road accidents. Snow buildup on roadsides can make it hard to see pedestrians, objects and other vehicles. The threat is even greater at nights.
One way to avoid low visibility accidents is to check the weather service before heading out. If visibility is extremely bad, the best course of action is to wait until conditions get better. If you have to drive, do so very slowly and with great caution. The same rules of driving on slippery roads apply here.
Another way to improve visibility is to make sure that your windshield wipers and defroster fans are working properly.
3. Car Condition
It’s very important to get a routine checkup of your vehicle before heading into winter. If your vehicle is not in a good shape, driving in winter weather can be even more dangerous.
Always check your tires before you go driving in winter weather. Worn out tires with bald spots have very poor traction, so driving on icy roads become even more difficult.
As mentioned above, make sure your windshield wipers and defroster fans are working properly in case of low visibility problems. Always check your wiper fluid is full before heading out on the road.
Working headlights are especially important for driving through snow or in the dark on an icy road. Make sure to scrape any accumulated snow off your headlights before driving off.
If you were injured in a winter car accident, Spencer Law can help.