April 16, 2018

What Happens When Drivers Don’t Slow Down in a Storm

Car Accident Attorney PA

Nearly any kind of storm can cause the roads to become treacherous and slippery – or even to become impassible. Dangerous accidents become more likely when temperatures drop and roads ice over. When winds are high, and snow, ice, or rain is coming down, drivers may also be unable to see a safe distance ahead of them, making driving in slick conditions that much more dangerous. When drivers fail to accommodate for these adverse conditions by slowing down, they endanger everyone on the road.

Slow Down

The National Weather Service (NWS) advises drivers to slow down for bad weather. Even if the road only looks wet, it can still be slippery and dangerous. The NWS shares that there are more than 6,000 weather-related fatalities on U.S. roadways every year. When drivers fail to take this most-basic driving advice seriously and refuse to slow down when roads are affected by inclement weather, they endanger themselves and others.

If another driver fails to slow down in stormy weather and causes an accident that leaves you injured, you need skilled legal counsel. The experienced legal team at The Levin Firm has the skill, knowledge, and commitment to help navigate your claim toward its most positive resolution, so please contact or call us at 215-825-5183 today. Our dedicated car accident attorneys are here to help.

Speed Kills

Even in the best conditions, speed kills. Drivers who speed increase the distance necessary for their cars to brake safely and decrease the amount of time they have to react safely to dangerous conditions. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2015, drivers who were speeding in the U.S. killed over 9,500 people. Additionally, speed has played a significant role in about a third of traffic fatalities for more than 20 years.

Weather Events and Roads

Failing to slow down during inclement weather is even more dangerous. When a driver fails to slow down on icy roads, the danger associated with speeding grows exponentially. The Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that stormy weather can impair visibility, affect a driver’s capacity to drive, reduce vehicle performance (with decreased traction, stability, and maneuverability), decrease pavement friction, increase crash risks, and alter traffic flow. The DOT shares these startling statistics regarding weather-related accidents:

  • About 22 percent of all accidents are weather-related. Weather-related accidents are defined as those that happen during adverse weather (including rain, sleet, snow, fog, severe crosswinds, and blowing precipitation, sand, or debris) or those accidents that occur on pavement made slick by rain, snow/slush, or ice.
  • Most weather-related accidents occur on wet pavement and when it’s raining (73 percent on wet pavement and 46 percent when it’s raining).

Because weather-related accidents represent a serious threat to everyone on the road, it is incumbent on all drivers to regulate their speed accordingly during stormy conditions.

In Frigid Temperatures

If you’re involved in a car accident during a winter storm with frigid temperatures, the NWA provides several tips to help you remain safe while you wait for help to arrive:

  • First and foremost, stay inside your vehicle. Wind-driven snow and ice can quickly disorient you if you get out of your vehicle.
  • Run your motor for about 10 minutes every hour for heat (crack a window to allow in fresh air to help ward off carbon monoxide poisoning).
  • Clear snow from your exhaust pipe to ward off gas poisoning.
  • Make sure your car is visible to oncoming traffic by turning on the dome light when you’re running your engine (at night) or by tying a brightly colored cloth to your antenna (in daylight).
  • When the snow stops falling, raise your hood to signal that you need help.
  • Icy and/or snow-obstructed roads combined with plummeting temperatures are extremely dangerous. Don’t attempt to walk away from your car to seek help.

Stay Safe Out There

Bad weather can crop up unexpectedly, and it’s important to be prepared when it does. Steps that you can take to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe when you’re driving in dangerous conditions include:

  • Slow down to a speed that’s appropriate for the conditions of the road—even if it means slowing to a crawl. If the weather warrants, find a safe place to wait out the storm.
  • Be prepared by keeping a fully stocked storm-survival kit in your vehicle.
  • Keep your tires in good repair—your vehicle’s tires are your point of connection with the road and are critical to maintaining traction in wet or slick conditions.
  • If your car does go into a skid, remain calm and stay focused. While it’s natural for panic to wash over you in a driving emergency, it helps if you know how to handle such a situation. Let up on the gas, stay off your brakes, steer smoothly in the direction you want the front wheels to go, and don’t apply the brakes or gas until you’ve regained control of your car.

When the weather turns, it’s important to remember that it’s going to take you longer to get where you’re going. Allow yourself plenty of time, and take all the necessary precautions. Always make traveling safely your top priority.

If You’ve Been Injured in a Weather-Related Car Accident, Consult With a Skilled Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Today

Bad weather demands reduced speeds. If another driver’s failure to abide by this safety rule causes an accident and you were injured, you need a skilled car accident attorney. These accident claims are often complicated. Your rights and fair compensation for your injuries are too important not to aggressively advocate for the best possible outcome. At The Levin Firm in Philadelphia, our dedicated car accident attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and commitment to help guide your claim toward just resolution and help ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries, while you focus on your recovery. We’re here to help, so please contact or call us at 215-825-5183 today.

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