Why Does Driving Become More Dangerous During the Winter Months?

Why Does Driving Become More Dangerous During the Winter Months?

Did you know that “each year, 24% of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement” [Source: U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration]? Were you aware that “every year, 900 people are killed and nearly 76,000 people are injured in vehicle crashes during snowfall or sleet?” Because of the various types of weather conditions the winter months and those leading up to it bring, motorists need to be aware that this time of year is one of the more dangerous times to be driving. The fact is, there is an increased chance that your vehicle could spin out of control, either because of the slippery conditions that are present or you happened to have driven over an area where black ice formed. And the last thing any driver wants is to lose control of their car or truck and crash into someone else.

Now, although the winter season has not yet begun, the weather seems to indicate otherwise as Monroe, LA has already seen temperatures drop to the low 30’s. That is why we are taking the time now to review with you some ways you and your family can prepare yourselves for winter driving so that no unexpected mishaps occur and you reduce your chances of engaging in a wreck.

  1. The first thing you need to do is prepare your vehicle. The National Safety Council (NSC) recommends that you have your vehicle checked by a mechanic to ensure it is good condition. Some areas that should be looked at include:
  • Ignition
  • Brakes
  • Wiring
  • Hoses and fan belts
  • Spark plugs
  • Air, fuel and emissions filters, and PCV valve
  • Distributor
  • Battery
  • Tire wear and air pressure
  • Antifreeze level and freeze line

Once you know your vehicle is in good, working condition, you need to know how you can prevent from engaging in a collision. The reality is, you might find yourself driving over icy pavement trying to get to work and you need to know what precautions you should be taking so that your normal morning trip doesn’t end as a disastrous accident. Therefore, some things the NSC suggests you keep in mind while driving on wet, icy, or snowy roads include:

  • Refrain from using cruise control when wintery conditions are present.
  • Look and steer in the direction you want to go.
  • Take your time while driving and accelerate and decelerate slowly.
  • Increase your following distance to 8 to 10 seconds as you may need more time to stop in the event traffic up ahead begins to slow. The last thing you want is to have to slam on your brakes which could cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Try not to stop when going uphill.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half-full.
  • In the event you do get stranded, don’t try to push your vehicle out of the snow.
  • If your vehicle brakes down or you are stranded, you can “signal distress with a brightly colored cloth tied to the antenna or in a rolled-up window.”

Aside from having your vehicle inspected and knowing how to drive when inclement weather is present, the NSC also reminds you to never leave your home without the following:

  • A properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench, and tripod jack
  • Shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow and tire chains
  • Bag of salt which provides for better tire traction and/or to melt the snow
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Reflective triangles or flares
  • Compass
  • First aid kit
  • Windshield cleaner
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Nonperishable, high-energy foods like unsalted, canned nuts, dried fruits, and hard candy
  • Blankets, mittens, socks, and hats

While some of these items might seem unnecessary to have, you simply don’t know when your vehicle might get a flat or what time of day an accident will occur. Therefore, it is best to be fully prepared for any type of situation.

Although some of the tips provided above are expected to help motorists reduce the chances of them getting into a car crash, we also have some tips for those who have already engaged in an auto wreck in Monroe, LA and aren’t sure what to do now. The fact is, you might have many questions pertaining to filing an insurance claim, recovering money, etc. and don’t have a reliable source to turn to who can answer these questions accurately for you.

That is why our number one tip for anyone who has been involved in a car accident in Monroe or Shreveport is to contact the LA car wreck lawyers at Campbell, House & Cummins. Our team of attorneys can address any uncertainties you might have, determine what your injuries are worth, and even help you take the necessary steps so that you can recover the compensation you are entitled to receive.

Therefore, if you would like to sit down with one of our experienced and reliable auto accident lawyers in Monroe, LA to find out how we can help you get through this stressful time, visit or call Campbell, House & Cummins, Attorneys at Law, at:

1815 Roselawn Avenue
Monroe, LA 71201

You can read more articles here