Winter Wonderland? Hail, Sleet and Snow Mean Dangerous Drives
There’s a reason government representatives in Oklahoma have carved out a date in November as the state’s official Winter Weather Preparedness Day. With winter months ahead promising all of the weather-related challenges Oklahomans have come to expect, many of us try to put the chilly reality out of our minds until the first flakes fall. Not least of all, Winter Weather Preparedness Day reminds us that the season of slick roads and the car accidents that accompany them is at hand.
Icy roads mean big danger
Crashes on icy roads are responsible for more than 450 deaths every year. Oklahoma represents a mixed high- and medium-risk state with regard to ice risk zones and ranks eighth in the nation for icy road fatalities. One of the factors that contribute to the dangers of icy roads in Oklahoma is that a significant amount of travel takes place on rural highways where high speeds are common. Some maintain that the intermittent nature of icing in states like Oklahoma catches drivers off-guard, unlike northern states where drivers routinely expect icy roads in the winter.
Take it easy
The best way to avoid accidents on slick roads is to avoid high speeds, accelerating suddenly, or hitting the brakes hard. When drivers do these things, a slide generally occurs, which means the car’s brakes lock up while the car drifts out of control. This frequently means big damage due to collisions with other vehicles and stationary objects.
Slide correction may be the key to safety
When slides occur, there are a few steps a driver can take to try to correct their vehicle’s trajectory:
- Turn into the slide by turning the wheel into the direction that the rear of the car is drifting
- Don’t overcorrect, which will cause the car to slide in the opposite direction
- Release the vehicle’s brakes, since most antilock brakes won’t function properly at this point anyway
Winter weather presents a host of dangers for drivers. When icy roads bring accidents into your life, count on time-tested personal injury attorneys to pursue your claims for recovery.