Winter solstice just passed and we are in full winter mode so weather conditions are not ideal for driving. As injury lawyers, we come across many cases that are automobile related injuries and the best way to deal with an injury law case is to completely avoid it altogether. Here are a few facts and tips to consider during this winter season.
To start lets look at some interesting and alarming facts about winter driving from the good folks at www.safewinterroads.org
- Over 70 percent of the nation’s roads are located in snowy regions, those which receive more than five inches average snowfall annually.
- Nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population lives in these snowy regions.
- Over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement annually.
- Every year, nearly 900 people are killed and nearly 76,000 people are injured in vehicle crashes during snowfall or sleet.
- Each year, 24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement and 15 percent happen during snowfall or sleet.
- Freeway speeds are reduced by 3 to 13 percent in light snow and by 5 to 40 percent in heavy snow.
- Average speeds on arterial roads decline by 30 to 40 percent on snowy or slushy pavement.
- Winter road maintenance accounts for roughly 20 percent of state Department of Transportation maintenance budgets.
Just by looking at a few of these statics, you can see how dangerous and accident-prone winter roads can be. There are however many precautions you can take to avoid accident related injury in California this winter.
Fatigue driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving and we all know how dangerous that can be. If you are tired or fatigued just take a nap or take an Uber or Lyft where you need to go and only drive when you have had enough rest.
Tires are the direct connection between you and the road. Making sure you have properly inflated tires should be a regular box you check. Make certain your tires are properly inflated. Also, make sure your tires have sufficient amount of tread for winter driving. If possible having all weather condition tires is the best bet for all weather conditions.
Cruise control can be a very useful tool when driving on long or even short trips. During wet, snowy, or slippery conditions it should be avoided because you should be much more in tune with the road, your car and the surrounding. Cruise control is very usefully and makes driving much more enjoyable and relaxing but should be reserved for dry weather conditions.
If at any point you do lose traction take the following steps. 1. Don’t panic and always do your best to first stay calm. 2. Keep both hands on your wheel 3. Steer your car in the direction you want your car to go. 4. Don’t slam on your brakes. 5. Take your foot off the gas until you feel you have your car under control or until you regain traction and can safely continue driving.
Accidents do happen, and when they do we are always here to help as your trusted Sacramento injury law providers, but if you can do your best to avoid it that would be a lot better and safer for all parties involved. We hope this blog has been helpful and if you have any further questions or need help with your case please contact us.