A recent report has indicated that more than 4,000 Americans have died in car accidents during wintry weather over the past 5 years. Wintry weather means snow, freezing rain, sleet, or ice according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The State of New Jersey ranks in the middle in terms of annual winter weather related car accidents. Not surprisingly, many of the states in the Great Lake region of the country experience the highest fatality rates as a result of accidents during the winter months. The state of Ohio actually ranks the deadliest with an average of 86 deadly accidents per year.
Perhaps the most hazardous winter weather condition is the snow squall, which occurs when snow suddenly falls during conditions of strong winds. This often produces a total whiteout for drivers on the road and is very dangerous to drive in. Visibility is drastically reduced. This wintertime hazard has led to pileups of many cars caused by a single accident. Experts believe that people are often driving too fast for conditions – the speed limit on the road is for optimal driving conditions, not the speed limit during a blizzard. Wet or icy road conditions require people to drive more defensively and people need to allow a greater distance to stop their vehicles. Pileups can include more than a dozen cars and can create massive damage to vehicles and serious injuries or death to their riders.
Many drivers fail to reduce their speed based upon the road conditions. In particular SUV drivers will often barrel along at, or above, the speed limits, regardless of the weather. Many SUV drivers mistakenly believe that all wheel drive gives them greater stopping ability on snowy roads, which is simply untrue. So what should you do if you are confronted with winter driving conditions? Simply slow down and allow a greater distance between vehicles. And if conditions are likely to cause a snow squall, it is best to avoid the roads altogether.
If you have been injured due to an accident as a result of snow and ice on the roadway, we may be able to help you. Call us at 908 353-5850 to see what we can do for you. There is never a charge unless we get money for you.