With last weeks storm in the rearview mirror, it’s time we look at how dangerous driving in precipitation really can be. When the weather is bad, collision is imminent. Rain increases poor visibility which is one of the biggest causes of roadway collisions. Heavy rainfall or snowfall can decrease visibility, giving a collision even more of a chance of occurring.
From 2005-2014 a study was done on vehicle collisions in normal weather verse collisions in hazardous weather. An estimated 5,748,000 vehicle collisions happen every year in the U.S. From those collisions, 1,259,000 collisions occurred during hazardous or inclement weather, roughly around twenty-two percent. From those numbers, nearly 5,900 deaths occur per year due to weather-related collisions. The chances of getting into a collision increase greatly when the weather is bad and its something we should be aware of. Yes, you’re sitting there thinking, “this is stuff I already knew”, well let’s take a look at some things you can do to avoid these collisions during the bad weather. When driving in hazardous weather conditions there are a few things to remember. SLOW DOWN!
Even if you have 4 wheel drive you should reduce your speed to about 10 miles per hour below the speed limit, to avoid skidding. Beware of black ice. Especially at night when it can blend in with the road, black ice can be fatal to the unbeknownst driver so keep your eyes open for a glistening roadway. Avoid tailgating. Make sure you give the person in front of you an ample amount of space just in case of a sudden stop. Your traction to the road isn’t as strong as it would be with a dry pavement, so give some extra space for that sudden stop. Don’t brake during a turn. If you aren’t going fast you should be able to turn without braking. Turn into skids. A common mistake people often make is turning away from an icy skid. Turning into a skid will keep your car from tail fishing and will be much easier to regain control of the vehicle, rather than turning away from the skid. Collisions can be frightening, dangerous and pricey. So as the winter gets closer keep these tips in mind and be careful on the road!