Over 1,300 people are killed each year in the U.S. in vehicle crashes caused by snow, sleet and ice, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). If this news is surprising, it shouldn’t be—more than 70% of the nation’s roads are located in snowy regions, and 70% of the U.S. population lives in these areas.
While it doesn’t snow in Houston every winter, it does happen occasionally. In fact, it has snowed three times in the winter of 2017-2018, only the second time this has happened since 1973. If you live in Texas and own a car, you should always be prepared to for adverse weather conditions, to become a safer and more efficient driver.
Snow & Ice Driving Hazards
Despite efforts to maintain highways, area roads, and driveways, accidents are going to happen in bad weather. Snow and ice create two distinct driving hazards:
- Slippery roads: Even small traces of snow and ice increase your chances of skidding and sliding. Black ice, which is visually indistinguishable from asphalt roads, poses a particularly dangerous hazard.
- Poor visibility: Snow, rain, and sleet will obscure your view as they fall down on your car windshield. Not only that, but you also have to worry about inches of snow hiding road hazards and ice on the ground reflecting sunlight into your eyes and blinding you.
Tips for Staying Safe in Snow & Ice
Avoiding snow and ice altogether is the safest choice, but if you have a job or need to get to class, driving may be necessary. If that’s the case, here are a few tips to help you stay safe:
- Have your brakes checked regularly
- Properly inflate your tires and ensure they’re in good condition
- Make sure your vehicle’s cooling system contains enough antifreeze
- Wear warm clothes that allow you to move freely
- Keep your seat in the correct position
- Avoid having to slow down by watching far enough down the road
- Don’t turn or brake sharply
- Take curves at slower speeds
- Avoid driving next to other vehicles
- Leave extra distance between you and vehicle in front of you
Unfortunately, even if you drive safe, that doesn’t protect you from other drivers speeding or acting negligently in the snow and ice. If you are injured in a car accident on snow or ice, contact our Houston personal injury attorneys at Farah Law today. We can help you resolve your case through negotiations with an insurance company or by going to trial against a third-party.
Call (888) 481-9359 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation.