When it comes to driving in general, car accidents are sadly not uncommon. However, in the winter months, the cold weather conditions may create varying roadway hazards while driving.
Statistically, snow/ice related car accidents cause over 1,300 deaths and more than 116,000 injuries per year. That’s according to the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FWHA).
So, what exactly are the causes of car accidents in the winter months? Let’s go over them below:
Driving at Unsafe Speeds in Winter Weather
Drivers should always pay attention to their speed and follow the limit in all weather conditions. Speeding is always considered dangerous, but when the weather conditions create hazards it becomes especially dangerous.
Winter weather brings driving hazards such as:
- Slick roadways,
- reduced visibility,
- black ice,
among many others.
Not only should you not speed while driving during the winter months, sometimes even driving under the speed limit may be necessary for safe driving.
When pavement on roadways becomes snowy, icy, or covered in slush, the FHWA recommends drivers slow down their normal speed by 30-40%.
As well as on freeways, it’s recommended to reduce speed by 3-13% during lighter snow, and 5-40% during a heavier snowfall.
Possible Window Obstructions
Weather in the winter months brings cold ,and commonly even freezing, temperatures outside. Creating obstructions on your vehicle’s windows/mirrors. Such as ice, snow, sleet, or freezing rain.
These can become stuck to your vehicle’s outer layer and create hazardous conditions while driving by reducing driver visibility.
To increase safety during winter months, driver’s should always prioritize time to clear their vehicle’s windows/mirrors of any obstructions before driving. Improving visibility and protecting yourself from possible outside hazards.
It’s a good idea to also utilize your vehicle’s defrosting setting. Which can help windows and windshield clear at a faster rate and allow them to be clear while driving in the cold.
Poor Time Management
When it comes to preparing for driving in the winter months, enabling yourself enough time to follow the precautions before getting on the road are important.
If you know you’re needed to be somewhere at a designated time, allot enough time to lower hazards such as:
- Defrosting all windows/mirrors. Scraping snow/ice from your vehicle. This takes around 10-15 minutes, plan accordingly.
- Avoid running late, by even leaving early. This allows you to drive safely and cautiously. There could be several conditions, such as slick roadways and slow-traveling motorists, that could delay your travels.
Following Vehicles too Closely
In the winter months, it’s widely known that the road conditions can be icy, snowy and dangerous. These conditions enforce vehicles to need more time and space to come to a complete stop.
If you’re driving through winter weather conditions, give yourself and your vehicle plenty of distance between vehicles in front of you. More than the standard 3-4 seconds distance behind is recommended.
Leaving a distance of more than 8 seconds between your vehicle and the ones in front of you while driving in the winter months can allow yourself plenty of time to stop. Reducing the risk of rear-end collisions, or other dangerous accidents.
In the event of a collison, finding an auto body collision repair company shouldn’t be hard. We can help!
Stopping in the Road
If you find yourself driving in the winter months and having car trouble, know one thing! NEVER stop in the middle of the road, or traffic lane.
If you’re having car trouble in the winter, or maybe you want to pull over because you can’t see during snow storms. Always pull over to the side of the road, lane shoulder.
Remain there until you can guarantee you and your vehicle’s safety to pursue driving, or exiting the vehicle. If you can’t see, that means other drivers probably can’t either. Be safe, not sorry! Help prevent
Reduced visibility form winter month driving conditions may camouflage your vehicle in the lane you’re traveling in. Always safety first.
Especially during the time of COVID-19, staying home and avoiding unnecessary travel during winter months is smart.
Not only are the road conditions bad, a lot of things are being moved to be accessible from home amid the pandemic. Avoid the unneeded travel and reschedule any minor, or unimportant trips if the weather is looking unsafe.
Stay home, stay safe, and reduce car accidents on the road during the winter months!
Sudden Stops in Cold Weather
Winter weather means ice, snow and slick road conditions. Which is known to cause car accidents in the winter months. That means you should adjust accordingly and allow for extra time to bring your vehicle to a complete stop.
Usually vehicles brake too fast, or too hard while on pavement and during the winter you risk fishtailing, or drifting into other vehicles and causing a car accident.
To avoid these collisions, slowly pump your brakes from farther back. Rather than quickly coming to a stop and slamming on them.
Each vehicle owner should know their own brake system and how it responds to applying pressure. Anti-lock brake systems may need to be pressed harder to come to a quicker stop before allowing your vehicle to slow down.
When the winter roads are icy, accelerating your vehicle too quickly may prevent it from gaining proper traction on the road.
In order to prevent this from happening, driver’s should accelerate slower than they normally would in their vehicle. This is done by slowly applying the gas and avoiding your vehicle’s tires from spinning.
In the Event of a Collison
Since car accidents in the winter months are highly probable, finding the correct auto shop for auto body collision repair is needed.
At East End Auto Body Shop, the team is willing and ready to help driver’s get back on the road. Make them your choice after an auto accident in the winter months. The personalized, combined experience of the team at East End has your back.
With experience and repair options in:
- Auto body repair, Frame repair
- Collision repair, Auto painting
- Glass repair, Automotive detailing
- Auto mechanical repair, Automotive claims
- Insurance repair work, Auto body paint
“No other company is as committed to improving the way people & their vehicles are cared for following an accident than us!”
Contact the team at East End Auto Body today!