The cold season is a period when car accidents become more frequent. As any Ohio car accident attorney knows, ice or snow on the road combined with reduced visibility are key factors that lead to car crashes. Add driver distraction or other types of human errors to this mix, and you get the recipe for severe accidents, sometimes involving several vehicles.
For this reason, we wish to share some helpful winter driving safety tips to help you avoid car accidents. The risk is higher if you consider the fact that, fresh out of the holiday season, everyone is in a great hurry to make it to work in time, put in extra hours, and do everything they can to rebuild their finances after spending a lot on gifts and vacations.
Nonetheless, remember that an Ohio car accident attorney is always ready to examine your case and give you reliable legal advice if you are involved in a car accident despite your best efforts to drive safely.
Winter Driving Leads to More Car Accidents in Ohio and Across the US
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), more than 70% of US roads pass through areas that receive more than five inches of snow in winter. Ohio is among these areas – with significant snowfall in various counties during the last two years, as per the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Alerts.
The FHWA indicates that as many as 24% of weather-related car accidents occur on snowy, icy, or slushy roads. The same authority gave Ohio 17th place in the US Winter Driving Rank – 1 being the worst ranking and 51 the best. This ranking places Ohio among the riskiest states for drivers during the cold season.
These are sufficient reasons to keep reading this article and learn the safety tips to avoid car accidents this winter. For any Ohio car accident attorney, these are rules we live by whenever we leave the office to go back to our families. We hope you can also arrive home safely at the end of every day at work.
Winter Driving Safety Tips: How to Avoid Accidents on Snowy or Icy Roads
Here are the simplest ways in which you can prepare for any trip you have to take behind the wheel during winter:
1. Make Sure You Have Winter or All-Season Tires
Winter tires and all-season tires offer a better grip on snowy or icy roads. Failure to equip your vehicle with the adequate type of tire will likely cause you to lose control of the car. Thus, you may be the one causing a car accident and becoming liable for someone else’s damages.
However, even if you happen to be the accident victim, the lack of proper tires will be deemed as negligence on your part. Thus, this aspect will reduce the compensatory amount you may collect. It is much better to start your trip with peace of mind and tires that will keep your car steady on the road even in challenging weather conditions.
2. Maintain a Safe Distance from Other Vehicles
The second on our list of safety tips to avoid car accidents is maintaining a safe distance. For an Ohio car accident attorney, this is well known as a common cause of rear-end collisions in all seasons, but especially in winter.
You must remember that the stopping distance on icy roads is significantly longer than on dry roads – as much as ten times longer. For instance, if you are driving at 70 mph, your car will need 0.49 miles (800 m) to make a full stop. For this reason, you should keep an even longer distance than usual between you and the car in front of you.
3. Clear Snow and Ice Completely from Your Car
You see it every day on the roads after heavy snow – cars with snow cleared only from the hood, displaying a Mohawk-like layer of snow on the roof. This is extremely unsafe. When the driver needs to put a sudden brake, the inertia will make the snow slide down and effectively cover the windshield.
Speaking of windshields and the safety tips to avoid car accidents, make sure that you remove all ice from:
- Front windshield
- Back windshield
- Rearview mirrors.
Although it appears to be completely transparent and harmless, the thinnest layer of ice can distort your vision. Thus, you may not appreciate distances correctly and end up crashing your car into another vehicle.
4. Check Your Windshield Wipers before Every Trip
Windshield wipers are critical if you are on the road while it is raining or snowing. During winter, they are more likely to wear out or stop working altogether.
For this reason, you should always make sure that your windshield wipers are in good condition and work properly. It takes only a few minutes, but it can save you from a crash leading to severe injuries and expensive treatments.
For an Ohio car accident attorney, leaving without checking these wipers is not just a big risk, but also indicates comparative negligence in a car accident case. This means your compensation could be reduced.
5. Postpone Trips During Severe Weather
Last on our list of safety tips to avoid car accidents during winter is the advice to postpone any trip during severe weather. Nothing is more important than your life and safety. And no matter how careful you are, you cannot be in full control of a vehicle when the road is covered with a thick layer of snow and the visibility is poor.
You Can Always Count on Our Ohio Car Accident Law Firm
Even with these safety tips to avoid car accidents, you may get hit by another vehicle on the road. This is why it is good to remember that Ohio Car Accident Lawyers are here for you. We understand your frustration as a diligent driver and the need to recover your financial losses. And we put all our experience and knowledge of the law at your service.
We offer you a free case review, where you will be able to present your case to an experienced Ohio car accident attorney. If your case has merit, we will represent you on a contingency fee basis. Call us now at 844-853-7373 to schedule your free initial appointment!