Jan 2014

Avoiding a New England Auto Accident on Snowy and Icy Roads

Massachusetts car accident attorneysThe Fall River Herald News reported on a devastating snowstorm that started the winter of 2014 off on the wrong foot by causing nine deaths. Snow storms and winter weather can be fatal for a lot of different reasons, including the fact that snow and ice on the roads significantly increases the risk of an auto accident.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) indicates that weather is a contributing factor in about 24 percent of all car accidents that occur in the U.S. each year, with snow playing a role in around four percent of total crashes and ice playing a role in about three percent of all collisions. Car accident lawyers in Fall River, MA note that weather-related accidents that happen in the U.S. each year cause around 629,000 deaths, which is far too many fatalities.

Every driver should do his part to avoid becoming involved in one of the tragic accidents that tend to occur during the colder months. Fortunately, there are a lot of safe driving practices that you can adopt to reduce the chances that you’ll becoming involved in a collision.

Tips for Driving Safely In the Winter

Weather.com and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation both provide some essential tips for drivers heading out onto the roads during the winter season:

  • Avoid driving during bad weather whenever possible. If the snow is coming down or if it is freezing and there is ice on the roads, you should stay off of them unless you have someplace you need to go right away. If you do need to drive during a storm or when the roads are bad, make sure you’ve allowed time for the snow plow and sanding truck to go through and clear the roads.
  • Be extra vigilant in high-risk areas. Many people know that bridges and overpasses tend to freeze first before other areas of roads.  Roads that don’t get as much vehicle traffic also tend to form ice more quickly than roads on which more cars pass through. Remember, ice can form on the road, especially on a bridge or overpass, even if the temperature has not reached below freezing.
  • Give yourself more time to stop. You should slow down during bad weather, since the faster you are going the more time it will take you to stop. You should also leave three times the distance between the front of your car and the back of the vehicle that is ahead of you as you would in the summer. This way, you’ll be less likely to get into an accident if your car or the lead vehicle spins out of control, and you reduce the chances of having to slam on the brakes in an effort to avoid a rear-end collision.
  • Know your vehicle. You can’t count on your car to keep you safe, even if it has four wheel drive. However, you can put your vehicle into low-gear in order to gain traction if the roads are icy or if you are going up a hill. You should also skip using features like cruise control if the roads are icy.

Hopefully, by following these safe winter tips, you can reduce the chances of getting into a collision that could cause injury to yourself or to others.

Contact the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl in Providence today at 508-677-4900 to schedule your free consultation. 

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