Dangerous factors IN residents should know about winter driving
With fall nearly over and winter right behind its heels, drivers in Indiana can expect the weather to get colder and icier. This may be bad news for those who brave the roads in poor conditions.
Adverse weather is responsible for about 23 percent of motor vehicle collisions in the United States. According to the Federal Highway Administration, about 1,312,000 crashes each year occur due to wind, rain, fog, snow and other conditions caused by the weather. These result in more than 480,000 injuries and 6,250 fatalities annually.
The impact winter weather has on driving
Numerous cold-weather factors are common in the winter in Indiana and other northern states. According to Esurance, drivers may encounter the following conditions this season:
- Slick roads and whiteouts during a blizzard
- Rain, sleet or ice storms
- Reduced visibility due to fog
- Sudden gusts or prolonged heavy winds, leading to flying objects or debris on roadways
- Frost and ice on the roads
Black ice is particularly dangerous for drivers to encounter. It forms as a thin, extremely slick sheet of ice on roads, usually in the middle of the night or early morning. Black ice usually appears matte, fooling drivers into thinking it is wet pavement, or it may be nearly invisible. Unfortunately, vehicles can go into a dangerous slide upon contact with black ice.
High-speed roadways and adverse weather
Slick roads can cause particularly serious crashes on freeways. WANE.com reported on a multi-vehicle accident that occurred in February 2016 on State Route 6 in Whitley County. During icy conditions, the driver of an SUV lost control and slid into the opposite lane. Several vehicles became involved in the crash, which sent the original driver to the hospital and killed another person.
It was unknown if the above tragedy could have been prevented, but drivers may take precautions to reduce their chances of crashing in winter weather. The most important rule is to reduce speed when weather conditions are unfavorable. When the roads are icy or visibility is poor, drivers should give other vehicles plenty of room for maneuvering and stopping. Extra caution should be taken when approaching areas where black ice is likely to be, such as on top of bridges, under overpasses and in shady areas of the road. Drivers should also signal their intentions to turn and change lanes, and take extra time in doing so.
If a negligent or reckless driver causes an accident that results in an injury, the victims may have the right to pursue compensation. It may be wise to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney in Indianapolis about the situation. Contact an experienced attorney at Steve Crell Law for advice on the best way to move forward with a personal injury case.