Car accidents can happen during any time of the year, however, weather conditions during the winter can make roads more dangerous for drivers. It’s important to recognize the risks we face when driving during the winter, and what actions we can take to avoid an accident.
During the winter months, snow and ice on roads can lead to serious car accidents. Snow and ice make it harder for tires to have a firm grip on the road which can lead to skids, these weather conditions also make it harder for vehicles to stop, slow durn or turn. Not only do icy and snowy conditions make roads slippery, but when combined with fog, dense snow, or rain, it could also affect a driver’s visibility.
Driving Under the Influence
Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the NHTSA show that the holidays with the most drunk driving fatalities include New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving. Driving while under the influence will not only put your own like and your passengers’ lives at risk but other drivers and pedestrians on the road as well. Driving while under the influence affects your reaction time, it slows your reflexes and takes longer for you to react. It affects your visibility, coordination and you are more likely to make risky driving decisions. Avoid endangering lives this year and have a sober friend drive you, use public transportation, or a rideshare platform.
During the holidays we can be worried about dinner preparations, last-minute gifts, travel arrangements, and other things that distract us from the task at hand. But once you are in the driver’s seat, you need to focus and concentrate on the road in front of you. Avoid using your cellphone either to text or make calls, changing the music while driving, using a navigation system, eating, and other distractions that could cause a car accident.
Although studies show that traffic has reduced during the pandemic, there is still a chance for traffic to cause a serious car accident. Some people may have decided to travel to visit family and friends, even with COVID-19 restrictions in place, this surge in traffic during the holidays could catch you off guard and result in an accident. It’s important to stay focused on the road when driving, don’t speed, make sure you use your turn signals, and leave enough space between you and other vehicles.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
As mentioned earlier, extreme weather conditions during the winter can cause a serious accident. Not having the necessary tools and equipment in your car to properly drive during these conditions can also cause an accident. Make sure that you check the weather before leaving your house. If there is a snow forecast, pack tire chains in case they are necessary. Do a maintenance check on your vehicle before you drive, check that your wipers are working properly, oil levels, tire pressure, replace filters, check your battery, you can always do this yourself or take your car to a professional to have it checked.
If you or a close one is involved in a car accident, one of the first steps to take after a car accident is talking to a car accident lawyer. Law firms continue to work during the pandemic and offer in-person or remote consultations. A legal team can guide you through the claims process to recover compensation for your damages.