Snow, ice, wind and poor visibility all produce questionable driving conditions during Maryland winters. Although the period between Memorial Day and Labor is the most dangerous time of the year to drive, winter produces its own unique challenges. Nevertheless, drivers can take precautions when they must be on the road in winter.
Winter driving hazards to avoid
The number one hazard that causes winter motor vehicle accidents is ice. Whether it comes from melted snow or sleet, or water on the road that has solidified, ice is extremely dangerous because it often remains invisible on the road and causes vehicles to spin out of control. Other factors causing winter accidents include:
- Poor visibility from fog or ice and snow buildup on the windshield
- Low tire tread and pressure
- Battery failure
- Sub-freezing temperatures
- Road salt that damages your vehicle’s undercarriage
Precautions to take before driving
One of the best things you can do to avoid winter accidents is to get your car, SUV or truck ready by getting a winter road check that ensures your battery has enough charge and that all systems operate correctly. Yet, sometimes you can’t avoid winter driving. When out on the road, take the following precautions:
- Drive with your lights on
- Keep a longer interval between vehicles
- Drive more slowly
- Keep your windshield clear
- Keep your charged cell phone with you and make sure others know your route
Some drivers continue to drive recklessly
While winter conditions heighten the possibility of accidents, negligence remains the primary cause. Actions like distracted driving, speeding, failure to yield, running a red light, and inexperienced drivers all contribute to making winter driving accidents worse. When accidents are more severe, they often result in more property damage and life-changing injuries that take a long time to heal or are disabling.
When such accidents occur because of others’ negligence, victims can file lawsuits to compensate for their injuries and suffering. A successful claim can give you funds to live on while you recuperate and pay for medical bills and rehabilitation in addition to what you get from insurance.