Winter weather can create treacherous conditions for drivers. A recent article in The New York Times talks about how driver’s education classes typically ignore what makes winter driving different and how to avoid and handle skids. And this is potentially lifesaving information during New York’s harsh winters. People who have been driving for decades tend to make crucial mistakes on snowy or icy roadways and get into major injury car accidents.
What Do You Need to Know?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 17 percent of all traffic accidents nationwide occur during winter. Experts say the biggest problem when it comes to driving in wintry weather is excessive speed and not knowing it will take much longer to stop a vehicle. Here is some additional information that many drivers may lack or not recall when driving in inclement weather:
Some snow is more slippery. The degree of traction you have on snow can change significantly depending on the temperatures. Warmer snow is weaker and gives way more easily, which means tires have a harder time getting a good grip. As temperatures get warmer, the roadway gets more slippery. Researchers say when a tire begins to slide across the snow at higher temperatures, it is more likely to melt the snow. The water then acts as a lubricant.
Smooth drivers do better. On dry pavement where tires have a better grip on the roadway, drivers can accelerate hard and make sharp or sudden movements. However, when you are driving on a slippery surface, these types of movements can become dangerous. Experts say it is important to drive smoothly in the winter. For example, if you are making a turn on a snowy roadway, it is safest to slow down the vehicle first and then make the turn.
Four-wheel drive won’t solve all your problems. Those driving all-wheel drive tend to overestimate their vehicles’ capability. While all-wheel drives can help you get better traction or climb a steep hill with ease, they don’t give you much benefit when it comes to functions like braking on snow.
Be careful with all-season tires. If you are driving in New York during the winter, it is best to get winter tires. These are far superior to all-season tires. This is because winter tires are not only specially designed for slippery roadways with additional “biting edges” (sipes), but they also have a special rubber compound that stays more pliable and helps them grip the roadway better when the temperature drops.
Electronic safety features can help. Most vehicles now have electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes. Electronic stability uses sensors to determine whether your vehicle is going out of control and applies the brakes to nudge your vehicle back in the right direction. Anti-lock brakes are designed to automatically pump the brakes and help the driver maintain control when trying to stop on a slippery surface. It is also important to remember that these systems work best with winter tires because they need that traction to be most effective.
If You Have Been Injured
Victims injured in a car accident caused by a negligent or careless driver may be able to seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to guide you through what may become a complex process and help you maximize the compensation you can receive.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a negligent (careless) driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 47 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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