Do Car Accidents Increase in the Winter Months?
Many people dread driving in the winter months. Foul weather conditions result in less than ideal driving conditions. Despite the risks that poor winter weather can bring, most data indicates that the greatest number of car crashes tend to take place in the summer.
Although winter doesn’t account for the most car accidents, there are several factors that make the risk of a car accident increase in the winter months. Car accident lawyers from Chanfrau & Chanfrau discuss some of those factors here, and offer drivers in Daytona Beach, Palm Coast, FL, and surrounding areas some tips for staying safe when driving in inclement weather.
Depending on the area, the winter months can bring on a wide range of weather conditions, including rain, hail, sleet, and snow. Any of these can result in slick, slippery roads. Of particular danger in the winter months is black ice, which completely camouflages with the road. Though icy weather is quite rare in this part of the country, black ice and other uncommon hazards can pose a danger to motorists in the state.
There are several reasons that slick roads increase the risk of an accident:
- Slick roads lack traction, meaning it is harder for a vehicle’s tires to grip to the road. This makes it more likely that a car will slide or hydroplane out of a driver’s control.
- Slick roads also affect a car’s performance. When the roads lack traction, it is not safe to brake hard or accelerate quickly. Instead, drivers should pump the brakes and ease down on the accelerator to avoid losing control of their vehicle.
- When roads are wet or slick, a vehicle’s braking distance increases significantly. It takes longer for the tires to grip the road and come to a complete stop. If drivers are not careful, they can easily rear end another vehicle while they are trying to stop.
Poor visibility is another driving hazard in the winter months. Even if it is not actively raining or snowing, the windshield and windows are likely to fog up when the temperature is low. And if snow or ice have built up on headlights or brake lights, then your own vehicle will be far less visible to other drivers.
Another winter driving hazard that needs to be acknowledged is overconfident drivers. While there are many people who avoid driving when weather conditions are poor, there are just as many who drive like it is any other day, without taking the precautions necessary to accommodate for the change in road conditions.
Tips for Driving Safely During The Winter Months
Given the subpar driving conditions, the risk of a car accident can easily increase during the winter months. To lesson those risks, we recommend that Daytona Beach drivers consider these safe driving tips:
- Understand how your vehicle behaves with wet or slick roads
- Make sure the vehicle is properly maintained (most importantly, ensure windshield wipers, headlights and brake lights, tires, and brakes are in working order)
- Before driving, check that the windshield and windows are clear
- Reduce driving speed to accommodate for road conditions
- Keep ample space between your vehicle and others
- Refrain from using cruise control so you can maintain full control of the vehicle’s speed
Get In Touch
If you are one of the many drivers who has been injured in a car accident during the winter months, the lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can help you explore your right to financial compensation for damages. To discuss the details of your accident with our legal team, contact us online at your earliest convenience, or call our law firm at (386) 258-7313.