Do Car Accidents Increase in the Winter Months?
Rain, ice, sleet, and snow that are so common during the winter months leave many drivers hesitant to get behind the wheel. Their reluctance is valid. Winter weather conditions bring about several dangers that can increase the risk of a car accident, leaving many to wonder, “do car accidents increase in the winter months?”
Car accident lawyers from Reed & Terry, L.L.P. discuss the frequency of winter car accidents, and go over some of the dangers that drivers in Sugar Land, TX, Katy, TX, Richmond, TX, and surrounding areas need to be aware of when driving in less than ideal weather conditions.
How Common Are Winter Car Accidents?
In most areas, the greatest number of car accidents are reported during the summer months, rather than the winter. However, that doesn’t mean that drivers can let down their guard in the colder months. Car accidents can happen at any time, and data suggests that the risks of inclement winter weather can make car accidents more likely.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, 24 percent of yearly weather-related car accidents take place on roads covered with snow, slush, or ice. These types of crashes result in over 1,300 deaths and 116,800 injuries annually. Another 15 percent of yearly weather-related car accidents happen during active snow or sleet. These types of collisions are the cause of close to 900 deaths and 76,000 injuries each year.
Winter Car Accident Dangers
Winter weather creates a number of hazards that can increase the risk of a car accident. Some of the greatest dangers of driving during the rain, sleet, or snow, or when the roads are covered with snow, sleet, or ice, include:
- Loss of traction - Whether the road is wet, slushy, or icy, it is harder for tires to grip the pavement. A loss of traction means that cars will accelerate quicker and brake slower, both of which can lead to an accident.
- Limited visibility - Active rain, sleet, and snow limit visibility so that a driver has a more difficult time seeing their surroundings. These conditions can also make it more difficult to determine how much distance is between your vehicle and others.
- Compromised directional control - Because slick roads lack traction, it becomes more difficult for drivers to control their vehicle in poor weather conditions. This is of particular concern when making a turn.
Reducing the Risk of a Winter Car Accident
If drivers take extra precautions when weather conditions are poor, they can significantly decrease the risk of a car accident. We recommend these safety measures during the winter months:
- Reduce speeds when the roads are slick or visibility is limited
- Allow for extra space between your vehicle and others
- Make sure your car is well-maintained (the condition of the brakes, tires, head and tail lights, and windshield wipers are especially important in inclement weather)
- Avoid abrupt maneuvers and limit pressure when applying the brakes or accelerator
- Avoid distractions
- Know how to recover if your vehicle skids
- Always check weather conditions before starting a trip, and avoid unnecessary driving when conditions are especially bad
Schedule a Case Review
If you have been injured in a winter car accident and you believe another driver is at fault, the lawyers at Reed & Terry, L.L.P. can investigate the crash to determine if you are due financial compensation for resulting damages. To schedule a case review, send us a message online at your earliest convenience, or call (281) 201-0988.