Winter Road Hazards that Cause Car Accidents
Winter road hazards can lead to a wide variety of car accidents, causing injuries that are so severe they can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. They can be so violent that they result in horrific explosions and fires, which will often turn deadly. While winter is typically a beautiful, festive time of year, it can be anything but for someone affected by a vehicle collision.
If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, the attorneys with the law firm of McEwen & Kestner will be ready to put their knowledge and skill to work for you. Our lawyers have decades of experience in car accident cases, and we know how to pursue those to blame. We’ll do everything we can to make sure you obtain the fair and equitable compensation you’re entitled to for the suffering you’ve been forced to endure.
The following are just five of the many types of winter road hazards we hope you can avoid – this year and for many more years to come.
1. Black Ice
This is arguably the scariest of all winter road hazards because they come out of nowhere. While 99% of the rest of the road seems perfect, one little leftover patch of ice that you can’t see can lead to a devastating accident.
So, what is black ice, exactly? It’s really not “black” at all. It just looks that way because it’s transparent, so it matches the color of the road surface. It’s usually a stubborn patch of ice that remains after all the other ice after a storm has melted away. Black ice can cause a car to rapidly spin out of control, slamming into other vehicles as a result.
2. Leftover Slush
Slush can also pose a major problem after a major snowstorm. It’s not only very slippery. It’s also very icy. This mixture of ice and snow can cause a vehicle to lose traction.
It will typically develop a few days after the storm exits. A mix of rising and falling temperatures can cause ice and snow to mix with road salt, dirt, debris, and other components, leaving a dangerous glaze. As the ice, snow, and everything else continually freezes, melts, and then freezes all over again, slush can be a threat for weeks.
3. Snow Storms
When strong winds whip heavy snowfall, that can result in so-called “whiteout” conditions. This is yet another of the winter road hazards that can occur every year. Trying to navigate one can be nearly impossible since visibility is so drastically reduced. Snow storms can oftentimes lead to horrible, multi-car pile-ups that can injure dozens of people at one time.
What’s even scarier about a whiteout is that it can disorient drivers to the point where they have no idea what direction they’re traveling. Since they have no reference points, they are at profound risk of being hit by other vehicles operated by drivers who are also disoriented.
4. Increase in Delivery Trucks and Passenger Vehicles
Wintertime means the holidays, of course. It’s a fantastic time of the year, but it’s also incredibly busy. This means the roads will be busy as well – in many places, far busier than normal.
The holiday season also leads to an increased number of trucks on the highways and roads trying to make deliveries. Truck drivers are always under an immense amount of pressure to meet deadlines. That pressure gets ratcheted up even more during the winter, with the risk of fatigued drivers or truckers who will drive far too fast – no matter what the road conditions may be.
Trucking companies will often take shortcuts in an effort to make deadlines so they can boost their profits. When you’re by a truck, you have no idea whether or not its brakes are working properly because you don’t know if the trucking company bothered to take the time to perform a pre-trip inspection.
You don’t even know if the person behind the wheel is even qualified to operate that 80,000-pound machine. There is such a shortage of qualified drivers nationwide companies are hiring whoever they can find.
But trucks aren’t the only hazards. Drivers of passenger cars can be as well – and there are a lot more of them. Many of these motorists are heading on cross-country trips to see family. They may have left straight from work, planning to drive through the night to get to their destination. These drivers will often be so tired that they can’t react quickly enough to bad roads – or any other type of sudden changes, for that matter.
5. Inexperienced or Bad Drivers
A lot of car accident injuries occur simply because drivers don’t have the experience it takes in order to handle ice, snow, slush, or other winter road hazards. They’ll be much more prone to losing control of their vehicles and causing horrific collisions.
Many other drivers are simply stressed out. They might drive distracted because they’re in a rush to get a last-minute present, or they simply hate this time of the year. These motorists will often be reckless because they couldn’t care less about the safety of those around them.
Yet another hazard this time of the year is drunk driving. People who normally don’t imbibe will have a couple of drinks at the office Christmas party or at a get-together with friends or family members.
Contact McEwen and Kestner if You’re Involved in a Car Accident Caused by Winter Road Hazards
We’re not saying you should simply stay in your home all winter because it’s just too dangerous to get on the road. If you use common sense and watch your surroundings at all times, the odds are great that you’ll be completely safe.
But if something does happen, and you’re hurt in a wreck that’s not your fault, the attorneys with McEwen & Kestner will be ready to help. We’ll work passionately to help you obtain maximum compensation. Contact us online or call (800) 732-3070 for a no-obligation, free review of your case.