It is not surprising that bad weather causes an increase in traffic accidents. However, the actual numbers are alarming. The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reports snow and sleet result in an average of 219,942 crashes annually. Ice causes an additional 156,164 while slush results in 186,076.
Hundreds of thousands of accidents occur due to winter weather conditions resulting in an average of approximately 135,000 victims injured and 1,700 fatalities.
Winter is coming. As we prepare, it is important to take steps to help reduce the risk of an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends the following:
- Prepare your car. Make sure all needed service is complete and check for recalls. Address any problems to better ensure your vehicle is prepared to handle poor conditions. This can include checking out the tread on the tires and wear on windshield wipers.
- Add supplies. It is a good idea to have an emergency kit within the vehicle. This is handy in case you are in an accident. This should include shovel, ice scraper, blankets, sand or kitty litter to help get traction if stuck, a cell phone charger, snacks and water. Whether in a rural or urban environment, having some necessities available can make a difficult situation a bit more manageable.
- Drive wisely. If you do not need to drive in bad conditions, don’t. If you do, make sure to focus on the road and slow down if necessary.
Unfortunately, not everyone will take these steps. Even if they do, accidents can happen. Those who are injured in an accident and believe the other driver’s negligence caused the crash, may be able to hold that driver accountable through a civil suit. These personal injury lawsuits can result in funds to help cover the expenses that result from the crash. This can help with bills from calling an ambulance, needing medical help, replacing or repairing a vehicle as well as missed wages.