Do Car Accidents Increase in Winter Months?
Accidents can happen any time, day or night, no matter the weather. However, certain factors make the chance of an accident more likely. Even though data indicates that the greatest number of car accidents take place during the summer, the risk of a car accident does increase in winter months.
Here, car accident lawyers from the Foley Law Firm discuss the risks that make driving in the winter months more dangerous. We also offer some tips to help those in Scranton, Stroudsburg, Wilkes-Barre, PA, and surrounding areas minimize the risk of a car accident when weather conditions are less than ideal.
How Common Are Winter Car Accidents?
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), over 70 percent of the nation’s roads are located in regions that receive an average of more than five inches of snow annually. Similarly, nearly 70 percent of the United States population lives in snowy regions. With snow impacting this much of the country, it is important to consider how big of a risk winter car accidents are to drivers.
The FHWA reports that 24 percent of weather-related car accidents take place on roads that are snowy, slushy, or icy. Another 15 percent of weather-related car accidents occur while it is actively snowing or sleeting. Combined, these types of weather-related crashes result in an average of around 192,000 injuries and 2,000 deaths each year.
Why Are Accidents More Likely in the Winter?
There are several reasons that the risk of a car accident increases in the winter months. Poor weather can result in a number of unsafe driving conditions. Most notably, rain, sleet, and snow (as well as the aftermath of these conditions) may cause:
- Slick, wet roads that have less traction/friction
- Increased braking time and braking distance
- Faster acceleration
- Decreased visibility
Minimizing the Risk of a Car Accident
As long as drivers are aware of the potential risks of weather-related car accidents, they can take appropriate steps to prevent these types of collisions. Even if someone has a lot of experience driving in the rain, sleet, or snow, they should make certain accommodations when the weather is poor or when the roads are wet, slick, or icy.
Some of the driving precautions that can be particularly helpful during the winter months include:
- Reducing speed according to weather/road conditions
- Maintaining appropriate distance between your vehicle and others
- Using headlights to increase vehicle visibility in the snow or rain
- Pumping the brakes when stopping to avoid locked brakes
- Using light pressure when accelerating
- Completely clearing windows and mirrors before driving
- Using windshield wipers and defoggers as necessary to keep the windshield clear
- Ensuring that wiper blades, tires, headlights, and brakes are in good condition
Get In Touch with Our Lawyers
Even when drivers take the most thorough precautions, accidents can still happen. If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver’s careless actions, the car accident lawyers at the Foley Law Firm can help you pursue financial compensation for damages. To discuss your accident with our lawyers, contact us online at your earliest convenience, or call (570) 342-8194.