As winter approaches, it’s vital to recognize the various dangers that can cause significant crashes. Unfortunately, of the crashes each year attributed to weather conditions, about 24% of them occur during the winter months. As a driver, it helps to recognize the biggest dangers in the winter months and what you can do to stay safe.
Common winter dangers for drivers include, but are not limited to:
- Environmental conditions
- Failure to maintain
- Drunk and tired driving
- Rideshare driving
When a crash occurs in inclement weather, you should understand that the conditions do not excuse negligence. Whenever a person crashes into you, they can be held accountable if their actions contributed to the crash. Our team is here to help individuals understand their options whenever this happens.
Environmental conditions are some of the biggest dangers because people cannot predict them. In the winter, the weather can be dangerous enough on its own, but it can also impact road conditions and more. It’s crucial to recognize how environmental conditions can cause crashes and what drivers can do to stay safe:
- Icy and slippery roads: When rain and snow start to fall, it can create slippery roads. Drivers can lose control of their vehicles, crash into others, or have trouble stopping.
- Reduced visibility: Winter weather often means heavy fog, making it challenging for drivers to see in front of and around them. When fog arises, it can result in several crashes.
- Strong winds: Some vehicles are more susceptible to strong winds. When the wind gets stronger, it can push vehicles across the road. Taller vehicles are susceptible to rollover crashes.
It can be easy for individuals to try and blame the weather for a crash. However, the weather does not excuse negligence. Drivers must consider the conditions and drive safely. If they speed, drive too close to others, or otherwise cause a crash, they may still be liable for a crash they cause.
Failure to Maintain
Drivers must maintain their vehicles, even more so in the winter weather. Three of the most important parts of a vehicle to maintain in the winter weather are the windshield wipers, brakes, and tires. Unfortunately, many people overlook these elements and can cause significant crashes.
Here’s how failure to maintain plays a role in winter crashes:
- Windshield wipers: Windshield wipers help improve visibility when rain or snow begins to fall. Windshield wipers remove liquids from the windshield so that drivers can see in front of them. If drivers don’t maintain their wipers, they may experience streaks that prevent them from seeing.
- Brakes: As brakes begin to wear down, it becomes more challenging for drivers to stop. When you consider that snow or rain makes it 10 times longer to stop, it’s vital to ensure vehicles have effective brakes.
- Tires: Tires that lose tread can be especially dangerous as there’s no friction between the vehicle and the road. The lack of grip, combined with the slippery grounds, makes it easy for drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
Drunk and Tired Driving
The winters and holiday season are often celebratory times. As such, people are more likely to drink or hang out with their loved ones late at night. The result: drunk and tired drivers all over the road. Unfortunately, these are some of the most negligent actions and cause millions of crashes each year. During the winter months, it’s easy for the number of tired and drunk drivers to increase.
Here are some of the signs you should recognize to identify a drunk or tired driver:
- Swerving from lane to lane
- Speeding up and slowing down constantly
- Braking erratically without another vehicle in front of them
- Driving without lights on at night
- Dozing off behind the wheel
If you recognize any of the above signs, be sure to stay clear of the driver. There’s a chance that trying to pass the vehicle or driving too close can result in a severe crash.
Because many people are celebrating or out with friends, they rely on rideshare drivers to get them from point A to point B. Unfortunately, Uber and Lyft accidents can still happen as rideshare drivers can be just as dangerous as others, mainly due to the distractions they often encounter.
Rideshare driving accidents occur because of distractions, including:
- Drivers who must respond to new passenger notifications.
- Drivers who look at their GPS constantly.
- Drivers who scan the sidewalks looking for passengers.
Rideshare drivers may also be unfamiliar with certain areas, and they may stop suddenly to pick up their passengers. With icy or slippery roads, their sudden stop can cause vehicles behind them to crash because they don’t give enough time to indicate their intentions.
At Lowe Law Group, we commit to providing our clients with the highest level of legal counsel. We know that if you suffer an injury, you need someone on your side who’s ready to pursue justice and compensation on your behalf. Trust that our team has the knowledge, experience, and tenacity to safeguard your rights.
Our car accident lawyers help you understand your options and protect you from insurance companies who may try to take advantage of your vulnerability. Let our firm be your advocate. We’ll be your voice and pursue maximum compensation when it matters most to you.