Of the more than 5 million car accidents each year, approximately 22% are weather-related. Now that winter weather is upon us, that means unpredictable and potentially hazardous conditions for drivers. Though Texas does not see some of the same levels of snow fall as other parts of the country, severe winter weather threatens many parts of Texas. Just this past December, winter storm Goliath hit areas in northwest Texas resulting in blizzard conditions and numerous reports of people being stranded in vehicles.
The types of hazards that are listed by the Texas Department of Transportation are loss of pavement friction due to snow or ice, restricted visibility, lane obstruction and washed out roads. According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, 24% of weather-related accidents are due to winter conditions such as snow, sleet, icy pavement or fog.
Winter Driving Tips
If possible, it is always best to avoid driving in hazardous winter conditions. If you must drive during icy or snowy conditions, you should always make sure that your car is winterized. This means routine maintenance including battery, filters, ignition, tires, anti-freeze, and cables to help prevent breakdowns.
It is always a good idea to plan your route ahead of time, let your family know about your plans, check road conditions and have a full tank of gas, but this is especially important if you will be traveling long distance in winter weather.
When driving in winter weather, you should:
- Reduce your speed
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly especially during turns
- Increase the following distance between you and another car
- Be aware of whether you have anti-lock brakes and brake slowly
- Be extra cautious on bridges, overpasses and ramps, which are more likely to freeze
- Do not use cruise control on wet or icy surfaces
- If you begin to slide or lose traction, ease off the gas or brake pedal until you have regained traction
Emergency Winter Car Kit
In case you ever become stranded during winter weather, you should always have an emergency winter kit in your car. The kit should include:
- Cell phone, charger and battery
- Shovel and ice scraper
- Flashlight with batteries
- First aid kit
- Non-perishable food
- Tow rope
- Waterproof matches
- Extra clothes
- Sand or kitty litter for traction if you become stuck in the snow
- Jumper cables
- Road map/compass
Experienced Representation for Your Houston Car Accident
According to studies, driving too fast is the single biggest factor in serious car accidents during adverse weather conditions. Winter weather conditions can contribute to car accidents, but especially if someone is not taking the appropriate precautions. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident, contact the experienced Houston personal injury lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. for help.
The skilled team of Houston attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C have decades of experience representing families through the entire process from investigation to trial, and we will work to build the strongest possible case. In the past, we have helped our clients obtain compensation for medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
Schedule a free individual consultation with our knowledgeable Houston personal injury lawyers today by calling The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at (281) 283-8500.