Utah winters bring bitter cold and heaps of snow and ice. Winter conditions are more than an inconvenience, as they negatively impact roadway safety. Each year, there are over 1,300 deaths, and 116,000 reported injuries related to winter car accidents. There are several reasons as to why driving in the winter can prove to be a challenge. Here are the most common causes of winter car accidents.
Snow Lowers Visibility
Winter storms may be intriguing to look at from your window, but they can be a pain to drive through on the road. Snowstorms reduce visibility for drivers, which poses a hazard for other drivers on the road, pedestrians, and wild animals. A combination of snow being blown across the street by powerful winds as well as thick fog makes it difficult for drivers to see their surroundings. Safety should be your main priority each time you’re on the road, but during the winter, you need to heighten your sense of security. Accidents can be avoided by driving even more slowly and carefully, and by being hyper-vigilant of your surroundings.
An excess of snow and ice on the road can create a significant hazard for drivers. Snowy roads impair a driver’s ability to slow down on time, come to a full stop, and maneuver turns and hills. Black ice, which is when water freezes over the road, is all too common during the winter. This type of ice is almost like an illusion, as it appears black when it’s transparent. Since black ice is nearly impossible to see when you’re busy focusing on the road, driving over it can lead to a complete loss of control.
Slick roads can lead to the following accidents:
Rear-end collisions: Difficulty in slowing down and stopping results in drivers hitting the car that’s in front of them. This is especially common at intersections.
Sliding: A driver’s inability to stop can lead to a car sliding past a stop sign or red light. This, in turn, leads to other vehicles and pedestrians being struck.
Parking lot accidents: Parking lots are one of the last places you’d expect to get hit because people tend to drive slowly through them. However, parking lots are more challenging to navigate during the winter. Even the most meticulous of drivers are susceptible to a parking lot crash, as the lot may not be sufficiently plowed or de-iced.
Improper Vehicle Care
Vehicle maintenance year-round is important, but you should consider checking on your car’s maintenance twice as much during the winter. If you live in an area where it doesn’t stop snowing, check your vehicle each time you use it. Your car is dependent on its essential systems and components being in their best shape for winter travel. Worn tire treads will further complicate your ability to slow down, stop, and turn because your tires will lack traction. Dull windshield wipers and a broken defrost system will lead to windows coated in ice, and you won’t be able to see.
Taking extra driving precautions during the winter will keep you, other drivers, and pedestrians safe. If you experience a tragic car accident, you’ll need to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer to get the compensation you deserve. Contact Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton today.