Other than bringing cold and snow to most of New York, winter is often accompanied by dangerous road conditions. Here are some of the most common reasons for a winter car accident to occur.
#1 Slippery Road Conditions Caused by Ice and Black Ice
When the temperature drops below freezing, the dangers of ice appear on the road’s surface. And because the ground is slower to warm up than the air, the roads may still have ice on them even after the temperature increases.
The slippery road surface results in tires that cannot get a good grip, which causes difficulties while steering, accelerating and stopping.
Even more dangerous than regular ice? Black ice. Appearing as wet instead of icy on the roadway, black ice is normally unnoticeable by drivers until it’s too late.
When planning your winter driving route, use roads that are regularly plowed and try to avoid hills. If you do hit ice while driving a car with anti-lock brakes, use gentle constant pressure until you come to a stop. In cars without anti-lock brakes, drivers should pump the brakes instead. Try to remain calm and steer your car into the skid.
#2 Poor Visibility Caused by Blowing Snow and Sleet
With winter’s regular blizzards, drivers regularly face decreased visibility on the roadway ahead. When you factor in the large accumulations of snow alongside the roadway, pedestrians and other motorists become difficult to see, too. Even worse? Driving at nighttime while dealing with poor visibility.
Ensure your windshield wipers and defroster fans are in good working order. If you need to go somewhere before the weather clears, exercise extreme caution while driving slowly.
#3 Poor Vehicle Condition Caused by Irregular Vehicle Maintenance
Without regular vehicle maintenance checks, winter driving becomes even more hazardous. Ensuring your tires are in great condition is a top priority; worn out tires with bald spots lack traction. At maintenance visits, have your tires rotated regularly so that they wear down evenly.
Keep your windshield wipers and defroster fans in good working order and have your wiper fluid regularly topped up.
Often overlooked, your headlights are imperative when driving through winter conditions in the dark. Don’t forget to remove any accumulated snow off of them before heading down the road!
Avoiding Car Accidents this Winter
Driving can be dangerous enough sometimes without adding an additional factor like winter weather into the mix!
If at all possible, avoid driving in poor weather. But if you do have to venture out, practice safe driving tips, such as investing in good quality tires, taking your car in for regular maintenance checks and keeping your car completely clear of snow and ice before driving off.
If you’ve had a collision due to winter weather conditions, trust the experts to get your car back on the road. At Mallery’s Auto Body and Collision, we provide a variety of automotive needs – from collision services to routine vehicle maintenance. Contact us today to learn more about our services.