Do North Carolina Drivers Need to Worry About Winter Auto Accidents?
In North Carolina, we are fortunate to avoid the kind of winter weather warnings that are seen in other parts of the US, like Michigan, New York, and Wisconsin. Yet, this does not mean that you don’t have to worry about winter weather auto accidents.
In fact, states like North Carolina that are lucky enough to avoid most of the extreme winter weather can be even more hazardous when the roads get a little slick and snowy. While drivers in Michigan, New York, and Wisconsin are familiar with and used to the conditions of the road in even the worst of weather, our North Carolina drivers are less practiced and skilled when the weather gets a little bit too extreme for our liking.
Furthermore, the weather has been a bit worse, in terms of ice and snow, in the past few winters than we are used to seeing. So, have you been driving safely this winter to prevent auto accidents? Have you noticed any unsafe behaviors from other drivers? Have those unsafe behaviors caused an accident that resulted in injuries to you or someone you love?
How Does Winter Weather Impact Auto Accident Rates in the US?
When it comes to the impact of winter weather on auto accident rates in the US, there are multiple factors that can increase the risk. While snow, rain, and ice can make roads slick, the effect of wind and heavy snowfall can reduce your ability to see the road and the ability of other drivers to see you. Winter weather factors like snow and sleet cause more than 210,000 auto accidents each year in the US. Slush causes more than 175,000 accidents. Ice causes close to 155,000 accidents. All of these accidents combined cause an average of more than 480,000 serious injuries and over 6,000 deaths in any given year.
Making Sure Your Vehicle is Safe For Winter Weather Driving
It is important to make sure that your vehicle is safe for winter weather driving before the first snow falls. If you drove through the winter without making sure of this, then you probably struggled to make it through the icy and snowy weather, especially if your tires are bad. In other cases, you may have been lucky to avoid running into any issues. As winter comes to a close, you may find this information to be too little too late, if you’ve already been in an accident, but the following information should serve you well for next winter, and you may be able to avoid or at least be prepared for winter weather accidents in the future.
It is important to be aware of winter weather storm conditions before you head out on the road, and to make sure that your gas tank is always full, that your battery is good, that you have regular oil changes, and that there is enough antifreeze in your car. You should also ensure that your tires are winter ready and that they are not over- or under-inflated. Always make sure that your brakes are in working order with braking fluid, and use winter windshield wiper fluid so that the fluid doesn’t freeze in cold temperatures. Finally, keep your headlights clean so that you can improve your visibility in snowy and windy weather.
It is also a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your vehicle that is set up for any situation where you might end up stranded in the wintertime. It can include a blanket, water, a flashlight, a cell phone charger, a first aid kit, and a little shovel in case you need to dig your vehicle out of the snow. This will come in handy if you encounter any trouble on winter roads.
How To Drive Safely When There is Ice On the Road
If you know that the roads are icy, you would be wise to avoid driving at all, if possible. This is not just because you might lose control on icy roads, but because other drivers are also more likely to lose control and cause collisions. Of course, we can’t always simply avoid driving because the weather is bad. If you must get out of the house, you should accelerate and brake slowly and cautiously to prevent your tires from spinning out. Many people will make mistakes when they start to lose control of their vehicle, such as turning too hard or braking too hard. The best thing to do is to not try to brake or accelerate at all and to carefully steer to regain control.
It is also especially important in the wintertime to avoid driving while distracted and to always drive sober. These tips are important at all times, but especially so in winter. While you should never text and drive, there are other distractions that need to be avoided. For instance, when driving in bad weather, ask passengers to cease conversation so you can focus and don’t try to mess around with the radio or anything else. Don’t eat while driving or attend to hair, makeup, or other potential distractions. The more you do to stay focused, the better.
If You Were Injured in an Auto Accident This Winter, Call Brown, Moore & Associates
If you were injured in a winter weather auto collision, it is not too late to call a experienced North Carolina auto accident attorney. The lawyers at Brown, Moore & Associates, PLLC are here for you. We’ll talk with you to go over the incident and your options for responding to the accident, establishing liability, and pursuing compensation for your damages. You can recover compensation for your injuries, your lost wages, your pain and suffering, your property damage, and more. We’ll investigate the incident, establish liability, and help you to file a claim with the appropriate insurance company. Contact us today to learn more about your options.