Weather-Related Car Accidents in Rhode Island: Avoid Them With These Safe Driving Tips
Ice and snow on Rhode Island roads are not uncommon during winter months. Although adverse weather conditions are factors in car accidents, drivers’ failure to exercise due care may also contribute to crashes on snow and ice.
Throughout the country, more than 1,300 people are killed each year in vehicle crashes on snowy, icy, and slushy pavement. Another estimated nearly 117,000 Americans suffer a personal injury.
Fact: Nearly a quarter (25%) of all motor vehicle collisions caused by bad weather conditions occur on snowy, icy, or slushy roads, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Why Do Weather-Related Car Accidents Occur?
A GoLocalProv report citing the National Weather Service (NWS) warned Rhode Island motorists of heavy snowfalls and icy conditions. In its warning, NWS said there is a risk of plowable snow on January 18, though the snow is likely to change to rain later that night.
Still, some might wonder how adverse weather conditions contribute to car crashes in Rhode Island? There is a higher likelihood of a winter-related vehicle collision on icy or snowy roads due to:
- Increased braking distance. A vehicle is not able to stop as quickly as it might on dry and clear pavement, which is why snow and ice require increased braking distance.
- Skidding and sliding. When a car hits a patch of slush, ice, or snow, some or all of its tires may skid or slide. As a result, the motorist may lose control and slam into another vehicle or fixed object.
- Decreased visibility. Driving in snow, sleet, or freezing rain can make it difficult for drivers to see their surroundings. This factor alone can lead to weather-related crashes.
- Distracted driving. While distractions may cause vehicle crashes even when weather conditions are ideal, getting distracted while driving in adverse weather conditions is more likely to result in a preventable collision due to the increased braking distance. A driver may not be able to stop in time if there is a hazard, so it is best to keep your eyes on the snowy or icy road at all times to prevent disastrous consequences.
Driving Tips for Bad Weather (Snowy and Icy Conditions)
While it is generally recommended to avoid driving in adverse weather conditions, if you do not have that option, follow these safety tips for driving in snowy or icy road conditions:
- Slow down
- Increase your following distance
- Avoid having to slam on the brakes (instead, watch far ahead to maintain a steady speed and apply light pressure on the brakes when you need to slow down or stop)
- Do not turn or brake sharply
- Avoid driving on patches of snow or ice
- Reduce the speed when taking curves (do not brake in curves)
- Avoid driving too close to other vehicles
- Leave more following distance between cars than usual
When winter weather contributes to a car crash, which causes your injury, bad weather cannot be an excuse for failing to exercise due care. Let our Rhode Island car accident attorneys hold the reckless or negligent driver accountable for your injury. Contact Robert E. Craven & Associates to schedule a consultation. Call at 401-453-2700.