Slushy Roads Increase Risk of Car Accidents
Slushy roads are a result of winter weather, which has shown up in the Pacific Northwest with our first snowfall this week. The snow quickly turned to slush, creating slushy road conditions all over the county. About 70 percent of the population of the United States lives in states that snowy / slushy / or icy conditions during the winter months, which means that the increased risk for slushy road car accidents when slush shows up affects the majority of Americans. Data from FHWA shows that over 1,800 people die each year in car crashes due to driving in snowy and icy conditions.
According to AAA, driving on snowy roads can increase the time it takes your vehicle to stop by 10 times, increasing the risk of rear-end accidents, T-Bone accidents and “slide-off” roadway accidents. If you were crashed into in a slushy road accident, contact a car accident attorney who can help you secure a fair settlement.
Slushy Roads Increase Risk of Car Accidents
The following types of accidents are most common during slushy road conditions:
T-bone accidents (also called side-impact car accidents or broadside crashes) got their name because of the perpendicular shape the cars make upon impact. A T-bone car accident is deadlier than other types of car accidents because there is no “crumple zone” like a trunk or engine. T-Bone accidents can increase in slushy road conditions when a car slides straight through an intersection and crashes into the side of a vehicle going in the other direction.
Slide-off roadway accidents happen when a vehicle’s tires lose grip of the road, causing the vehicle to slide-off of the roadway. Sometimes the car lands in a ditch or crashes into a sidewalk, lawn, sign, or power pole or street light. Slide-off roadway accidents often happen when black ice is present. When roads get slushy during the day and then temperatures drop after sunset, the risk of black ice increases.
A rear-end car accident is when a vehicle crashes into the rear-end of the vehicle in front of them. This type of accident can happen when a vehicle is traveling too close behind the vehicle in front of them for road conditions. Because it can take so much longer to brake when roads are slushy, the risk of rear-end accidents increases.
Reduce your risk of a slushy weather car accident with these top driving safety tips:
- Slow down and allow more time to reach your destination. Start by going at least 10 miles per hour under the maximum speed limit as this can help to reduce slipping and skidding while making a turn or braking. Drive especially slowly when going under a bridge or overpass as the shade can create ice in that area and increase the risk spinning out of control. Note: Don’t assume that you are safe to travel at normal speed because you have four-wheel drive or a heavy vehicle; these are often the cars seen flipped or spun-out into a ditch.
- Allow a bigger distance when road conditions are slushy. Never tailgate! Leave four car lengths space between you and the vehicle in front of you because that can help give you enough time to brake or re-gain control of your vehicle if it begins to slip. The extra distance will also reduce the risk of spray or ice flying onto your windshield from another car’s tires.
- Do everything more slowly and gradually. When accelerating, braking or turning do it slowly and deliberately. Sudden moves will increase your chance of slipping in the slush.
- Do some research on how your car’s anti-lock brakes work in slushy road conditions. Your vehicle’s manual should have instructions on the best way for you to brake on slushy and snowy roads.
- Distracted driving increases the risk of car accidents in any weather but it is especially important to avoid behavior that distracts from driving in poor weather conditions. Keep your cell phone behind your seat, do not eat or apply makeup in the car while you are driving.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!