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Icy Roads Increase the Risk of Auto Accidents

Sep 29, 2017 @ 11:00 AM — by Lynn Harris
Tagged with: Auto Accidents | Personal Injury | Wrongful Death |

A broken windshieldIcy roads can happen anywhere when temperatures dip below freezing, posing a serious risk to anyone who happens to be on the road on a cold day. Icy roads severely reduce traction. This makes it difficult to maintain control when driving and significantly increases the risk of car accidents. Victims of car accidents caused by another driver's negligence when driving on icy roads may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.

If you have been injured and would like more information about your legal rights regarding auto accidents and icy roads, contact Salt Lake City, UT personal injury attorney Lynn C. Harris. In the meantime, let's take a moment to consider the unique hazards of driving on icy roads and what you can do to help lower your risk of an auto accident.

The Dangers of Icy Roads

Icy roads present many dangers to motorists and account for thousands of crashes each year. In fact, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) states that icy roads cause more than 150,000 crashes a year. Icy roads provide no traction, which can cause motorists to quickly lose control of their vehicles. Of course, most people are aware that icy roads make for slippery conditions, but there are other factors at play that can increase the risk of an accident. 

  • It doesn't take much snow or freezing rain to make a road icy: A small layer of snow or freezing rain is all it takes to make a road icy.
  • No vehicle or amount of traction control can guarantee safety: There is no vehicle or amount of safety features that can maintain traction over icy roads. This means trucks with four-wheel drive, SUVs, or cars with traction control are just as vulnerable on icy roads as a modest sedan.
  • Icy roads can happen anywhere: Icy roads can occur anywhere that temperatures fall below freezing.
  • Driving at or above normal speeds is never safe: Because icy roads eliminate traction, no matter how confident you feel behind the wheel, it is never safe to drive at or above the speed limit when icy roads are present.
  • Black ice is difficult to spot: Black ice is a serious risk of driving on icy roads. Black ice is a layer of clear ice that blends in with the surface of the road, making it difficult to see when driving.

Tips for Driving on Icy Roads

When icy conditions are present, it's best to avoid driving if at all possible. However, if you find yourself driving in icy conditions, it's important to practice particular care and be aware of your surroundings. Some tips to reduce the risk of an accident while driving on icy roads include:

  • Use winter tires: Winter tires have more traction than regular tires, which can help with regaining control of your vehicle when driving on icy roads.
  • Don't over steer: Make small adjustments when steering on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly: Always drive slowly on icy roads to avoid losing control of your vehicle.
  • Watch for black ice: Black ice may be present anytime the temperature is below freezing, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Black ice may look like a puddle and is often found under shady areas, like overpasses and tree-lined roads. If you begin to lose control over a patch of black ice or an icy road in general, don't brake. Instead lift your foot off the accelerator and hold your steering wheel steady until you regain traction.

Contact Our Legal Team 

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone's negligence while driving on an icy road, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering. To learn more about your legal options, please contact our legal team today.

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