Winter weather can transform familiar roads into dangerous obstacle courses for you and your loved ones to navigate. The weather in the winter of 2023 is no different. You need to take particular care if you want to avoid accidents that may upend your financial plans for the future.
An awareness of winter driving and car accident statistics can help you stay on top of the weather’s impact on roadway safety this season. Assessing this year’s driving statistics can also help you create a winter weather survival kit to keep in your car in case of an accident.
Driving in the Snow is Dangerous
When you think of dangerous roadway weather, what comes to mind? More often than not, drivers are quick to ascribe the most danger to blizzards, and for good reason. According to AAA, driving on snowy roads makes it ten times more difficult to bring your vehicle to a complete stop. If the drivers around you drive too quickly, you may readily see yourself in an accident.
FHWA notes that United States drivers can attribute over 150,000 crashes to ice and snow on the roads and that over 1,800 people per year die due to misconduct in the face of snowy and icy conditions.
You don’t have to witness whiteout conditions, then, for winter weather to make the roads in your neighborhood dangerous. Even when temperatures start to hang around 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the rapid melting and refreezing of recently-fallen snow can see you and your loved ones contend with dangerously icy conditions.
Black Ice Complications
Black ice poses one of the most serious threats to your roadway safety that there can be in the bitter months of winter. Over 75 percent of the participants in a Zebra 2021 assessment report having driven through black ice in the past, though the degree to which that ice compromised their safety remains unrecorded.
Black ice is all but invisible to the naked eye, making it particularly dangerous on the road. If you’re driving at high speeds and find yourself navigating over black ice, your car may lose contact with the road and fall out of your control. The resulting accident can see you suffer catastrophic injuries.
Because it’s impossible to see black ice, it’s in your best interest to navigate the roads in your area with premeditated care, particularly when local weather conditions may make black ice more likely to develop. If the weather’s been fluctuating around ice’s melting point, drive slowly and be mindful of your surroundings.
Preparing For Winter Weather on the Road
You can’t control the winter weather, but you can control your reaction to it. That’s why it’s in your best interest to both keep an eye on your local weather channel and take steps to prepare for dangerous roadway conditions.
A third of the drivers on the road believe that an ice scraper is one of the most important winter tools you can have in your vehicle. Other drivers consistently keep a pair of gloves and kitty litter in their vehicles. The gloves are meant to protect a driver’s fingers from the cold, whereas the kitty litter works as a roadway stabilizer.
Unfortunately, there are some safety measures that some drivers never deign to use. Snow tires can help your vehicle retain its grip on the road, even in the face of black ice, but nearly many drivers – especially those who don’t often see snow – don’t use them.
If you’ve considered investing in snow tires in the past, you can work with a local mechanic to assess your need and research the best available brands.
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How to Build a Vehicular Winter Safety Kit
If you want to stay ahead of the worst effects of winter weather, consider creating a vehicular winter safety kit for your car. Vehicular winter safety kits are designed to provide you with the tools you need to limit the effects winter weather can have on your health in the face of a severe accident.
Some of the best tools you can keep in a vehicular winter safety kit can include:
- Bags of sand and/or kitty litter
- Flashlights and batteries
- Traction mats
- A disposable cell phone
- An ice scraper
- Gloves and mittens
It may also be in your best interest to include a small shovel, scarf, extra coat, and blankets in your car if you live in an area that sees a lot of snow. You can also consider keeping trail mix or other non-perishable food items in your car but limit the amount of water you carry with you. As the temperature fluctuates, unprotected water bottles can explode and damage your car.
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Car Insurance and Winter Weather
If you do find yourself in an accident this winter, you can turn to your insurance provider for help covering the cost of your recovery. Assuming that there wasn’t another party involved in your accident, you may not have to assign fault for your losses. Instead, you can assess the severity of your accident and determine what losses your coverage may compensate you for.
That said, your insurance provider may be reluctant to provide you with the financial support you deserve after a winter weather accident. Some insurance adjusters may inaccurately represent your losses in an attempt to secure their supervisors’ bottom lines.
If you find yourself contending with an unfair settlement offer, talk to the personal injury attorneys in your area. Our team can step in, present our own assessment of your losses, and demand that your insurance provider provide you with the coverage that you’ve been paying for. We can also help you hold other negligent parties on the road accountable for their misconduct.
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White Law PLLC Knows the Dangers of Winter Weather
Dangerous winter conditions make it more likely for you and your loved ones to face unexpected accidents. Your insurance provider is supposed to help you contend with these losses, but you may still face resistance when you move to file a claim. If you’ve been denied the settlement you think you deserve, contact White Law PLLC to discuss your circumstances.
Our car accident lawyers are available to discuss weather conditions, car accidents, and your right to legal action any time after your winter driving accident. You can schedule a free case consultation online or by calling our office. You can count on our team to fight for your right to a fair settlement from your insurance provider.
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