Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
Winter conditions make driving much more dangerous than traveling in clear summer weather. Poor conditions give seasoned drivers trouble and can be deadly for inexperienced drivers who are not sure how to handle roads slick with ice or obstructed by inches of snow. Sliding or having less control of the vehicle can cause drivers to panic, over-correct their movements, and ultimately cause an accident they could have avoided. Both hazardous conditions and driver error during the winter lead to many serious and deadly collisions.
If you were a victim of a winter-weather-related crash, contact the Ohio car accident lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW. We have more than 500 years of combined experience in helping crash victims recover by negotiating settlements with insurers or litigating personal injury claims. We can investigate your accident and advise you on the best way to move forward to ensure you are compensated for your injuries.
Predicting Snow and Ice
Besides listening to the weatherman, you can learn a bit more about snowfall and ice formation to help you prepare for what you may face when you head out of the door. Snowfall relies heavily on atmospheric temperature, which can be very different from what we feel on the ground. When the atmospheric temperature reaches approximately 32 degrees Fahrenheit (freezing) and there is a little moisture in the air, snow forms. If the ground temperature is also in the 30s or below, snow will probably reach the ground. Snow is unlikely if the temperature is in the 40s or warmer, below 15 degrees, or there is no moisture in the air. You can also check information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) before you get behind the wheel.
All it takes is a little bit of water and temperatures below 32 degrees to form ice on the roads. The water does not have to come from obvious sources like rain or snow. The small amount of moisture in frost or fog can cause dangerously icy surfaces.
If temperatures are below 32 degrees, skies are totally or mostly clear, and the air and ground are not completely dry, you should assume you will encounter ice somewhere on your drive. Be particularly careful when you drive into valleys or over bridges. The ground and roads are usually colder in these places. You can use your vehicle’s outside temperature notification as a gauge for how cold the roads are and the likelihood of ice.
Spotting Black Ice
Ice on the roads is particularly dangerous because of “black ice.” For drivers new to winter weather conditions, black ice is not actually black. It is generally thin and transparent, which means you see the road underneath instead of a sheet of white. When you are driving, it can be incredibly hard to spot black ice and to avoid dangerous patches of pavement. However, there are tricks that can help you avoid an accident. Look for spots of the road that seem shiny, glossy, or reflective. If pavement, which is normally dull and matte looking, reflects vehicle lights, it is probably icy. Also, be careful in areas that are shaded from the sun.
Winter Driving Tips for Ice and Snow
Winter driving is a skill you can obtain over time. Identifying hazardous road conditions and understanding what to do during different scenarios requires practice and calm hands behind the wheel. When you may encounter snow, water, or ice on the roads you should:
- Check your tire pressure before you head out
- Consider using snow tires, chains, or studs
- Wear your seat belt
- Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times
- Turn on your headlights
- Drive slowly
- Never use cruise control
- Take your foot off the accelerator if you hit a patch of snow or ice
- Never slam on the brakes
- Keep your steering wheel steady in the direction you were heading
- Avoid over-correcting your steering if you start to slide
- Never jerk the steering wheel to the side
When there is snow and ice on the ground, your car may start to slide and there is little you can do about it. Slamming on your brakes or jerking your wheel in any direction can make the situation much worse. You should remain calm, stop accelerating, and only slowly turn your wheel if directing the car will help you avoid a collision or mitigate the damage of hitting another vehicle.
Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick for Help After an Accident
If you were hurt in an accident during the winter, call an Ohio car accident lawyer from Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away. In addition to focusing on your recovery, you will need to file at least one insurance claim. Dealing with auto insurers can be a hassle, which is why we will take on this task for you. With our knowledge of Ohio law and insurance processes, we can ensure your claim is properly filed and that you are not taken advantage of by an insurance company. If settlement negotiations stall, we can represent you in a personal injury claim where you can seek to recover for your property damage, medical costs, lost wages, disfigurement, and disability. We will aggressively fight for your rights to ensure you can move forward from the accident.
Call Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW or contact us online to schedule a consultation.