Snow and ice create some of the most hazardous driving conditions possible. Across the nation, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has found that more than 1,300 people are fatally injured every year in car accidents on pavement made hazardous by snow, slush, or ice. In addition to this, 116,800 people are left with debilitating personal injuries. According to the FHWA, 24 percent of car crashes due to weather occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement, with 15 percent happening while snow and sleet are actively falling. It is integral to take added precautions when driving wintry weather.
The Hazards of Winter Weather
Slippery roads are the most obvious hazard that wintry weather causes. Even only trace amounts of snow or ice can greatly increase the likelihood of skidding or sliding. Black ice, ice which visually blends in with asphalt, is particularly dangerous.
In addition to slippery roads, snow and ice also cause less visibility. As snow, sleet or freezing rain fall, it greatly obscures the driver's view or can cause disorientation. These are known as "whiteout conditions." Additionally, the strong reflection of sunlight off of snow and ice can cause snow blindness in drivers.
Preventing Winter Car Accidents in Bridgeton
Statistics kept by the FHWA show the widespread issue of hazardous roads in winter weather.
- Over 70 percent of the nation's roads are located in regions which receive over five inches of annual snowfall on average.
- Nearly 70 percent of the US population lives in these regions.
- Freeway speeds are reduced by three to 13 percent even in light snow. Heavier snow reduces them by five to 40 percent. Average speeds on arterial roads decline by 30 to 40 percent on snowy pavement.
- Maintaining roads through winter weather conditions accounts for roughly 20 percent of the state Department of Transportation maintenance budget.
Despite the issues raised by these statistics, a Marquette University study highlighted the necessity of road salt in reducing the rates of these accidents. It was found that with road salt:
- Crashes were reduced by 88 percent,
- Injuries were reduced by 85 percent, and
- Accident costs were reduced overall
While de-icing efforts can seem expensive, the study's cost-benefit analysis showed that it paid for itself extremely quickly - just 25 minutes after salt was put down. Due to this, it is essential for de-icing efforts to be made.
Bridgeton Personal Injury Lawyers at Rone & Kowalski, LLC Fight for Victims of Car Accidents in Snow and Ice
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to an accident in snowy or icy weather, then you may be owed compensation. The dedicated Bridgeton personal injury lawyers at Rone & Kowalski, LLC are ready to help you through your case. From our offices in Milmay, New Jersey we handle car accident cases in Vineland, Bridgeton, Millville, Buena Vista, Maurice River Township, Upper Deerfield Township, Greenwich Township, Stow Creek Township, and Cumberland County. Call us at 609-476-4044 x 203 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.