According to the United States Department of Transportation, every year, winter weather conditions are responsible for over 1.3 million accidents. These winter weather-related car accidents result in over 7,000 fatalities, and 800,000 injuries. The following are factors that contribute to winter weather-related car accidents, and how to prevent them from happening.
Ice and Black Ice
When the surface temperature of a damp road drops below freezing, the road quickly becomes covered in a thin sheet of ice, known as black ice. Black ice looks like the roads are wet, not frozen. Even if it is not freezing cold outside, the ground temperature may be colder than the air, causing ice to linger on the roads. Icy roads prevent the best tires from obtaining traction, and result in drivers having a hard time steering or braking.
Relying Too Much on Technology
Although vehicles with four-wheel drive typically perform better than their rear-wheel drive counterparts, there are always going to be risks associated with driving in winter weather conditions. Four-wheel drive will not give anyone the traction that is needed to brake on ice. Rather, it sends the specific amount of torque needed to each tire while delivering added traction to help you move forward through the snow. It is recommended to avoid using cruise control while driving in hazardous conditions as it takes away from the diver’s reaction time in the event of an accident.
If your car has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), braking abruptly will make matters worse. If you have ABS and lose control of your car, apply slow and steady pressure. If you feel like you are losing control of your car, resist the urge to slam on your brakes. Slamming on the brakes removes traction from your tires and can result in a total loss of control, or a dangerous spin out.
According to a study conducted by Dunlop, speeding is the biggest driver error in snowy conditions. It takes up to 10 times longer to brake on icy or snowy asphalt than when the ground is dry. Slow your speed, and do not follow too closely behind another vehicle.
Prepare Your Car for Winter
Aside from practicing safe driving in winter conditions, preparing your car for winter can also help prevent accidents. Replacing wiper blades, making sure your tires are fully inflated, and stocking up on emergency supplies are only a few ways to help manage your car through the winter season.
New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Represent People Injured in Winter Weather Car AccidentsIf you or someone you love has been injured in a weather-related car accident, it is likely that the offending driver was negligent. An experienced New Jersey car accident lawyer at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP can help you obtain answers. With offices located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey, our legal team advises and represents clients throughout the state. Call us today at 732-777-0100, or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.