Winter driving conditions have significant impact on both the raw number of auto accidents that take place in Pennsylvania, and on their severity. As an auto accident injury lawyer, I am unfortunately faced with many unlucky customers who, due to the weather conditions, have been involved in automobile accidents through no fault of their own during these harsh winter months.
Low visibility, icy, slushy or sleet-encrusted road conditions, high winds, and drifting snow contribute to the difficulty and danger of driving during the wintertime. Common sense dictates that when the above conditions become severe, the best plan of action is to stay off the streets to avoid sustaining an injury accident.
Injury Lawyer Jeffrey Harlan Penneys has extensive experience securing compensation in weather-related accident cases
It seems intuitive that adverse weather would contribute to increasing the number of accidents. In fact, winter driving conditions also worsen the effect of an auto accident. Auto accident injury lawyers see the end results of these accidents, and it’s not pretty most of the time.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) tracks fatal auto accident injuries. To my eye, their data backs-up the assertion that severe weather increases the severity of accident injuries. In 2011, the most recent year for which we have reliable data, the NHTSA found that 5% of auto accident fatalities were due to winter weather conditions.
To be sure, many of the reported winter accidents are relatively minor because drivers do account, at least somewhat, for hazardous driving conditions. In city driving, because speeds are typically lower, when a driver hits a patch of black ice, any injuries sustained tend to be less severe due to the low speed impact between the vehicles involved. That being said, in accidents that under normal weather conditions might be minor fender benders, both damage and injuries tend to be worse because your brakes don’t slow the car adequately when ice or snow-packed roads are involved.
My Auto Accident Injury Lawyer Winter Driving Advice
The best advice I have to give regarding winter driving, as an experienced auto accident injury lawyer, is to keep an especially close eye on the weather during the winter. If the meteorologist is calling for more than a few inches of snow, or for extreme cold, it’s best to simply avoid driving.
Obviously it isn’t always possible to not drive. If you must get in your car remember to follow a few simple, common sense rules:
- Don’t drive until the snow plows and ice trucks have at least started to clear and salt the streets
- Clear and scrape your windshield completely
- Turn your lights on
- Slow down
- Leave an extra large safety gap between you and other vehicles, including those in adjacent lanes
- Brake gently
Philadelphia car accident lawyer Jeffrey Harlan Penneys has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for his clients over the past 18 years. For a free consultation and to have any questions answered, call 1-800-465-8795 (1-800-injury-law). am available 24/7/365.