Winter weather may create hazardous driving conditions for motorists, which may lead to serious or fatal collisions. According to the National Weather Service, auto accidents caused by adverse weather conditions cause more than 480,000 injuries and 6,253 deaths each year.
Although drivers cannot avoid all weather-related crashes, taking precautions when driving in winter weather may help them protect themselves, their passengers and others.
Pack a winter emergency kit
When the weather starts to turn, drivers may benefit from having an emergency kit in their vehicles. Their kits should include items such as the following:
- Jumper cables
- Warm clothing and blankets
- Drinking water and high-calorie non-perishable snacks
- Cell phone charger
- Small shovel and windshield scraper
Should motorists get stranded because of a crash or weather conditions, having these items will aid them until help arrives or they can resume driving.
Use caution in potential black ice areas
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, black ice, invisible roadway ice, may exist on roadways. Patches of this ice, for example, may cause motorists to lose control of their vehicles and crash into others. Therefore, drivers ought to use extra caution in areas where black ice commonly accumulates, such as bridges, ramps and shady areas. Intersections are also prone to icing, so drivers should approach them carefully.
Do not crowd the plows
Cleared for drivers, the road behind plows is generally safer than the road in front of them. However, drivers must take care not to follow too closely behind or otherwise crowd plows. The snow clouds thrown from these vehicles may substantially reduce visibility, and often the operators deal with obstructed fields of vision. Keeping in mind that the plow drivers may not see them and giving these vehicles an extra berth, then, may help drivers avoid winter weather crashes.
Injuries resulting from weather-related accidents may upend the lives of those who suffer them, as well as of their families. Pursuing options to obtain compensation may help support injury victims so that they can focus on what matters most – their recoveries.