Like the rest of New England, southern Connecticut recently had its first round of snowfall for the season. Until the warmer spring weather arrives, we will likely see more snow — and car accidents.
Each year across the United States, more than 1,300 people are killed and 116,800 are injured in crashes on snowy, slushy, and icy roadways, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. In addition, nearly 900 people are killed and 76,000 are injured in crashes during snowfall or sleet annually.
What can drivers do to prevent crashes this winter season? Business Insider discusses simple steps and procedures drivers can take to promote safety.
Planning ahead is only half the battle. If conditions are simply too dangerous, drivers can avoid crashes altogether simply by staying off the road.
Those who must drive during wintery weather conditions can stay safe by following these procedures:
- Giving yourself plenty of time to warm up your vehicle and arrive at your destination safely.
- Stocking up on extra safety materials, like blankets, jackets, food, water, gloves, reflectors, and tools for making car repairs.
- Ensuring that tires are up-to-date and properly inflated. Snow tires are recommended.
- Ensuring the battery is in good condition.
- Ensuring wiper blades are in good condition and the wiper fluid reservoir is filled.
- Keeping windshield, windows, and headlights clear of snow, ice, and frost.
Navigating winter weather conditions
Winter driving should never be approached the same way as driving during any other time of year. Drivers must give themselves extra time when traveling and maintain safe speeds. For example, it may not be safe to travel the exact speed limit while the road is covered in snow and ice.
Furthermore, driving too slowly can create the risk of swerving or cause a rear-end collision for drivers traveling at a reasonable speed. Maintaining a safe following distance is also critical during the winter, as it requires more time and distance to stop.
When spinouts occur, drivers should not panic, but rather, steer in the direction that is safest (such as away from other cars and objects).
Drivers should also never stop unless it's absolutely necessary, especially when navigating hills. When road conditions are slick, it's very hard to continue driving from a stopped position. Not only does this create the risk of getting stuck or sliding downhill, it also creates a potential collision risk.
Should you or a loved one be injured in a crash this winter, Vishno Law Firm — located in Fairfield County, CT — can help you build a strong legal claim. Our legal team is dedicated to helping injured motorists recover all damages accrued from a crash, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
Contact us online to schedule your free consultation.