Winter weather cannot be avoided in Boston, and snowy or icy conditions make driving exceedingly hazardous. In total, motor vehicle crashes accounted for 2.3 million injuries and 32,675 fatalities on U.S. roadways in 2014 alone. Considering that more than one-quarter of those accidents were weather-related, it is wise to utilize special care when driving in Boston in winter weather conditions. The best way to avoid weather-related accidents is to avoid driving in adverse weather conditions, such as snow, ice, sleet, and heavy rainfall. Of course, this is not always possible. The U.S. spends more than $2.3 billion on snow and ice removal annually. Despite these efforts, accidents do still happen. Contact a Boston Injury Lawyer Today.
Adverse weather is a contributing factor in nearly 20 percent of fatal highway crashes. Although some crashes are caused solely by winter weather conditions, driver error or negligence often play a role. Driving too fast for conditions, not leaving enough space between your car and the car in front of you, and distracted driving are typically involved in winter weather crashes. This is good news because it means that many of these Boston accidents are avoidable. However, in order to prevent accidents you have to be aware of other vehicles on the road at all times, not just your own. Even if you utilize safe driving practices, many other drivers do not. Defensive driving is key to preventing accidents all year long, but especially in winter.
Other Factors in Winter Weather-Related Crashes
In addition to slick, slushy, or slippery roads, winter travel can be dangerous for multiple other reasons. These may include:
- Limited visibility – Falling snow can make it nearly impossible to see the road in front of you, especially at night. Avoid driving at night when possible. Use windshield wipers, leave ample distance between you and other cars, and drive slowly when heavy snowfall limits your visibility.
- Black ice – When a layer of ice forms on the road but the driver cannot differentiate between ice and asphalt, it is referred to as ‘black ice’. Black ice is not visible to drivers because the black asphalt can be seen through the ice. For this reason, there is typically no warning and hitting a patch may cause you to lose traction and have an accident. Driving over black ice at high speeds puts you at a much greater risk of losing control.
- Low temperatures – If you have an accident in an unpopulated area, you may be stranded for hours with no heat source. To avoid hypothermia and dehydration in these conditions, keep your car stocked with blankets, extra socks, gloves and hats, bottled water, and flares to signal for help.