How the Weather Can Impact Your Safety on the Road
According to the United States Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration, there are over 5,870,000 car crashes each year. About 23 percent of these accidents, or nearly 1,312,000, are weather related. Weather related accidents are defined as accidents that occur during poor weather, such as rain, fog, sleet, snow, blowing sand or dust, slick roads, or severe crosswinds. On average, over 6,000 people are killed and 480,000 injured in weather related crashes annually.
The following is a look at some of the most dangerous weather conditions for car accidents:
Rain and Wet Pavement
When rainfall is heavy and roads become wet, the risk of accidents increases significantly. It is believed that about 74 percent of all weather related accidents occur due to wet pavement and 46 percent happen when it is raining. Rain and wet pavement diminish your vehicle's traction, making it more difficult to stay on the roadway, steer, stop, and avoid colliding with other vehicles. Rain also reduces visibility. All drivers should ensure their windshield wipers are in good working order before driving to help prevent rain related accidents.
Snow and Sleet
Snow and sleet contribute to a number of cold weather related accidents. About 17 percent of weather related accidents occur during snow or sleet, while another 26 percent happen on either icy or snowy pavement. Snow, sleet, and ice prevent drivers from being able to control their car and can lead to serious accidents. Black ice is especially dangerous because it is not visible and drivers can unwittingly end up sliding off the road or into other vehicles when they hit it. Try to avoid driving after a snowfall until the roads have been cleared and ice has had time to melt.
Fog accounts for only three percent of weather related accidents, but it nonetheless poses a threat to drivers. Heavy fog prevents drivers from being able to see the road ahead, causing drivers to run into one another or run off the road. Avoid driving during fog warnings and take all necessary precautions if the roads become foggy while traveling on them.
Sudden strong crosswinds can make it difficult for drivers to stay within their lanes. Bridges can form trouble spots for strong winds. Strong winds can also pick up snow, sand, or dust, causing it to blow and diminish visibility for drivers.
Drivers Must Adjust their Behavior for Weather Conditions
When the weather is bad, drivers are required to adjust their speed and their performance to account for the dangerous conditions. If drivers fail to slow down, turn on their headlights, use windshield wipers, and more, they can be held accountable for weather related crashes.
Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Put Our Over 35 Years of Experience to Work on Your Case!
If you injured in a car accident, contact the Georgia Car Accident Lawyers at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. Our firm assists injured accident victims across Georgia and in the Southeast. The sooner you act after your injury, the greater your chances are of obtaining a full recovery. As such, it is important that you seek the assistance of a licensed lawyer as soon as possible. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.