Common Causes of Winter Auto Accidents

During the winter, roads in New York may be coated with snow, sleet, or ice, creating dangerous driving conditions for many drivers. Unfortunately, many auto accidents happen during this time. Carsurance reports that over 116,800 people are injured in car accidents occurring on icy or snowy roads each year. Drivers must be prepared to operate in these conditions with caution. Common causes of these accidents include:

Icy Roads

A car driving through a snow storm behind a truck

Sleek, icy roads affect how drivers handle and control their cars. When there is ice on the road, drivers should accelerate slowly and avoid braking suddenly. They should also be wary of thin black ice on the road; it’s difficult to detect and very slippery.

Vehicles need to stay eight seconds behind one another to help prevent sudden stops that can cause a car to spin out of control. Common actions like turning and accelerating need to be performed slowly on icy, unpredictable roads.

Worn-Out Tires

Old, worn-down tires or tires with low pressure are not ideal for driving on snowy roads since they may not provide adequate traction. Tires should be inspected in anticipation of winter to ensure they are in good condition before the first major ice or snowstorm. Tire pressure should be checked and adjusted to match the vehicle’s recommended PSI (pounds per square inch). The average PSI is between 30 and 35.

Drivers can also survey if their tires need to be replaced by performing the “penny test” with their tire treads.

Poor Visibility

The winter weather can affect a driver’s view of what lies on the road ahead. Dense snowfall, fog, or road sprays may inhibit visibility. Vehicles’ windshield wipers and headlights need to be working at full capacity to provide the clearest possible view for the driver and for the safety of other motorists.

Despite taking extra precautions and preparing your own vehicle for the winter, other drivers may not have done the same. If you have been involved in an auto accident, it is vital to seek the services of an attorney to help prove that you were not at fault and possibly get compensated for your loss. The Law Office of Carl Maltese proudly serves the Smithtown, New York area and does not charge legal fees until our clients receive their compensation. Contact us today at (631) 543-8811 to request a free consultation.

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