When you think of fatal weather-related accidents, tornadoes and hurricanes often come to mind. Yet, according to the Federal Highway Administration, collisions on slippery roads – in the rain, snow, or icy conditions – account for 7,000 deaths. As well, statistics from the NHTSA show that driving poorly in weather results in 1.5 million collisions per year.
However, the key to driving through a storm isn’t speeding up or crawling at a snail’s pace. In fact, these two strategies may result in trucks, cars, and motorcycles running or sliding into each other. As winter is fast approaching, keep the following tips in mind to avoid weather-related accidents:
1. Know when to slow down.
2. Signal your actions to other motorists on the road.
3. Always check the weather report before you leave your house.
4. Understand how to react to weather conditions, like rain, ice, sleet, and snow, and where these are more likely to occur. Specifically, slippery roads, often occurring first on bridges, reduce tire traction, vehicle stability, and maneuverability.
5. Keep both hands on the wheel. When a sudden wind gust makes you swerve, having both hands ready makes recovery far easier.
6. Keep your distance from other drivers. Specifically, make sure there’s at least a two-second distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
7. Be prepared to react to sudden movements. In the event a branch or debris falls on the road, driving at a slightly slower pace means you can react and get out of the way in a reasonable time without hitting anything or anyone.
8. Always keep your eyes on the car in front, and be prepared to react.
9. Never slam on your brakes or brake suddenly. This causes the vehicle to skid and lose traction.
10. Defog your windows. Snow, rain, and ice already decrease visibility, so keep your view as clear as possible.
11. Stay away from pools of water.
12. Always keep your vehicle well maintained. A car up to date on its inspections is less likely to break down.
13. Test your tire traction before going on the road. This means less of a chance of a blow-out.
14. Avoid all distractions. As you’re driving through bad weather, don’t answer your cell phone, eat food, or have a conversation with others in the vehicle. Not only is distracted driving against the law, but when it comes to your safety, it decreases your reaction time.
Weather-related car accidents have potential to result in serious injuries. Yet when presented with a claim, insurance companies become hesitant to provide full and appropriate compensation – especially when extensive medical treatments are needed. Trantolo & Trantolo’s lawyers address such issues, and if you experienced serious injuries, missed time from work, and are now seeing high medical bills as the result of an accident, bring your claim to our team.