900 Car Accidents, 4 Deaths in Missouri Caused By Winter Weather
Winter weather struck St. Louis, MO, this past weekend and caused 900 accidents and nearly 4,000 calls for help. On Friday afternoon, two people were killed in a car accident when a woman lost control of her vehicle while it was snowing and struck another car. The 58-year-old woman who caused the crash and her 14-year-old passenger were both pronounced dead at the scene. The snow caused yet another serious accident when two semi-trucks collided late Saturday afternoon on I-70 in the middle of the snowstorm. According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, one lane was shut down and traffic was severely backed up because of the crash.
Nearly 900 People Killed Annually in the U.S. Because of Car Crashes in Snow or Sleet
It’s critical to take winter weather seriously and follow road safety rules when winter weather hits. Snow, sleet and ice on the roads can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles or other severe accidents and injuries. According to the U.S. Highway Administration, nearly 900 people are killed, and 76,000 people are injured every year in car accidents that are caused by snowy or slushy roadways.
Accidents happen quickly, and snow and ice tend to accelerate this. It’s essential to practice regular maintenance on your vehicle year-round, but especially in the winter. When the weather drops, this can drain car batteries and cause other complications such as lowered tire pressure, faulty windshield wipers and more. Car accidents and car problems are never enjoyable to deal with, but this can be made even worse by cold winter weather. It’s important to stay alert, follow road safety rules and make sure that your vehicle is safe and sound before traveling this winter.
Common Causes of Winter Car Accidents
Car accidents happen every day, but they’re more common in winter when roadways become slick and icy. Most roadways are heavily coated in salt to corrode snow and ice for drivers, but this doesn’t entirely prevent drivers from being affected by snow and ice. Common causes of winter car accidents include:
- Speeding when there is snow, ice, or sleet on the ground
- Distractions while driving when roadways are slick or icy
- Not slowing down ahead of time; snow and ice can cause your vehicle to slip and slide if you don’t give yourself enough time to stop
- Overcorrecting when your car starts to slip and slide
- Driving on bald tires, using old windshield wipers or faulty brakes in any weather, but especially winter weather, is extremely dangerous
- Not paying attention to the road and other drivers
How to Prevent Winter Car Accidents
Car accidents happen, but the majority of winter car accidents can be prevented by taking precautions and knowing what to do if your vehicle slips or slides. Other winter car prevention tips include:
- Follow the Speed Limit — Speeding when there is snow on the road can cause your car to lose traction and slip and slide. This can cause many different types of accidents including head-on collisions, sideswipe accidents, rear-end accidents and more.
- Pay Attention to the Road — It’s important to keep in mind that snow can cause serious and severe accidents. It’s critical to pay attention to road conditions and other drivers on the road to make sure that you’re doing everything that you can to prevent an accident.
- Don’t Get Distracted — Texting while driving or paying attention to others in avehicle can distract you from what you should be focusing on while driving…namely the road and other drivers. Avoid distractions while driving.
- Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Stop — Snow, ice and sleet on the ground require drivers to break sooner than they usually would. If you try to brake too quickly, you could cause your car to slip and slide or otherwise lose control of your vehicle.
- Don’t Stop on Hills — If you’re driving up a hill, don’t stop or slow down. You could cause your vehicle to slip and slide, or lose traction and roll backward.
- Know What to Do if Your Car Starts to Slide — Ice and snow can cause your vehicle to slip and slide. It’s a common occurrence and requires drivers to stay calm and focused. It’s critical not to use your brakes, to steer into the direction that the back of your vehicle is swinging, and to not overcorrect. Overcorrecting is a common cause of accidents in the winter
Winter road safety rules don’t differ from road safety rules for other times of the year. If there is bad weather or dangerous road conditions, it is essential to pay attention to the road, drive slow and be aware of other drivers. Mainly, it is necessary to be aware of what you’re doing while driving and ensure that you’re doing everything that you can to keep yourself and other drivers safe.
Consult a Car Accident Attorney if You’re in a Winter Car Accident
Accidents can be frightening and cause serious vehicle damage and severe injuries to those involved. If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident because of winter road conditions, it’s essential to call the police, seek medical attention, send someone to gather evidence and consult our car accident attorneys. Our attorneys are experienced in all areas of car accidents and personal injury claims, and will do everything they can to recover the maximum amount of compensation for your claim. If you are ready to discuss your case with our lawyers, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today and schedule a free consultation.