Even in the best weather conditions, car accidents can create emotional, physical, and financial strain. As autumn shifts into winter, the risk of motor vehicle crashes can increase. According to The Weather Channel, weather-related auto accidents cause more deaths than natural disasters each year, and the worst period of time for these types of crashes extends from late fall into early spring. Ice, heavy snow, and sleet can contribute to accidents, causing both personal injuries and vehicle damage. Although the weather in Wisconsin cannot be changed, drivers should follow these steps to reduce the probability of an auto accident:
1. Take Extra Care in Cold Weather
Traffic can make commutes stressful, but adding ice or snow to the mix can make the trip longer and more dangerous. Thick snow can limit a driver’s visibility, while ice can make it impossible to slow down and stop quickly. Black ice can be especially dangerous, increasing the risk of rear-end collisions or causing a driver to skid out of control and crash into another vehicle, object, or pedestrian. Drivers should reduce the risk of skidding by driving at a reduced speed and avoiding sudden turns. They should also avoid tailgating, since if they are following too closely, they will likely not have enough traction to stop in time if the vehicle in front slows down suddenly.
2. Stay Up-to-Date with Vehicle Maintenance
In addition to performing routine oil changes and maintenance, it is imperative for drivers to check the air pressure in their tires. Many cars require different pressures depending on the season. Not only does the proper air pressure promote even wear on tires, it also improves the handling ability of a vehicle. Most automobiles have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that will trigger a light on the dashboard if a tire is more than 25 percent underinflated. Drivers should also ensure that their windshield wipers and defrosters are in proper working order, since proper visibility is crucial during winter weather.
3. Avoid Dangerous Driving Behaviors
Even in pleasant weather, there are driving behaviors that should be avoided. The two most dangerous behaviors include distracted driving and drunk driving. These actions increase the risk of auto collisions in all weather, but they especially dangerous during inclement, icy, or snowy weather. To eliminate distractions, drivers should prepare before driving. This includes adjusting the radio, volume, and GPS devices. Wisconsin law forbids the sending or reading of any text message or electronic message of any sort while driving.
Contact an Appleton Auto Accident Lawyer
When drivers do not follow the steps above, they not only risk their own safety, but they put everyone else on the road in danger. If you or a family member have been involved in a car accident that occurred in icy or snowy weather, you may be dealing with both physical and financial repercussions. Our skilled team of Green Bay, WI car accident attorneys at the Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. can help you gather evidence demonstrating that the other driver acted negligently or irresponsibly, and we will work diligently to help you recover the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office today at 920-739-7366.