Weather conditions play a significant role in the number of car accidents that happen in the United States. Snow, sleet, hail, and rain all reduce visibility and traction on the roads, causing dangerous hazards for motorists.
Learn more about how bad weather can increase the chances of a car accident and how to protect yourself on the road this winter.
Weather’s Impact on the Roads
According to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), weather events—including precipitation, high winds, and temperature extremes—affect drivers’ capabilities to operate their vehicles safely. These events also affect vehicles’ performance, including traction, stability, and maneuverability.
The following weather events affect roadways and traffic differently:
- Wind speed: Wind speed may affect visibility distance due to blowing snow or dust. It may also cause lane obstruction when large debris are blown into the roadway.
- Rain: Rain may affect visibility distance and pavement friction. If your tires cannot properly displace the water with which they come into contact, your vehicle may lose traction and hydroplane.
- Fog: Fog often has a heavy impact on visibility distance, and can make it difficult for motorists to see vehicles in front of or around them.
- Snow and ice: Snow and ice have perhaps the most dangerous impact on the roads. Snowy or icy roads can make it difficult for cars to travel at all, since icy roads have very little friction onto which tires can latch. Additionally, heavy snowstorms or blizzards make road visibility extremely poor.
Stay safe this winter with these helpful tips for winter driving.
Injured in a Car Accident? We’re Here to Help
While you should always drive carefully in poor weather conditions, sometimes it is not enough to prevent an accident—particularly if another motorist was reckless.
If you have been harmed in an accident caused by another’s negligence, our Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys are here to help.
Contact Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. at (202) 659-8600 to schedule a free consultation with our team.