Inclement Weather Causes Spike in Car AccidentsFebruary 28, 2019
Temperatures dropped to below freezing earlier this month, which caused icy road conditions throughout Maryland. As a result, Maryland State Police reported a steep increase in car accidents during that time. According to police reports, there were 226 car accidents, 74 disabled or unattended vehicles, and 1,080 calls for service between midnight on February 10th and 5:00 a.m. on February 12th. When the roads are slick with ice, motorists should avoid driving. However, if driving in winter weather is unavoidable, it is important that motorists keep the following important safety tips in mind.
Safety Tips for Icy Road Conditions
Icy roads can be even more dangerous than snow because ice is often more difficult to see, compared to snow. Black ice can be virtually invisible and can cause serious driving hazards. As the temperatures drop, and winter-weather conditions cause slick, icy roads, the following safety tips can help motorists avoid serious car accidents:
- Check the weather report: Always check the local forecast before driving as the weather can fluctuate, and temperatures drop from one day to the next. Sign up for weather alerts so that you will receive a text message on your smartphone about weather conditions in your area.
- Be aware of your surroundings: While you can control the way you drive, you cannot control other motorists. Maintain a safe following distance from the car in front of you and use extra caution when changing lanes or passing other vehicles. Large vehicles, such as tractor-trailers and other large trucks require much more time to come to a complete stop, particularly on icy roads.
- Use extra caution no matter what type of vehicle you are driving. Even though many of today’s vehicles come equipped with Electronic Stability Control, as well as four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, all of which help when driving in snow and ice, they cannot prevent accidents if the driver is speeding or engaged in other unsafe driving behaviors. According to the National Safety Council, a three-second following distance is recommended during regular weather conditions. Drivers should increase this distance during inclement weather conditions, and when there is reduced visibility.
- Prepare for changes in road conditions. If a storm involves heavy snow and ice, road crews may need to divert traffic so that they can clear the roads. Road conditions can also change overnight due to falling temperatures, which can cause dangerous conditions.
- Find a safe spot to stop. If road conditions become icy while you are driving, find a safe, well-lit spot to stop until the roads are safer.
- Encourage friends and family to avoid driving during icy conditions. If family or friends are supposed to visit, let them know that you would rather they stay safe at home than risk driving on icy roads. Parents should also discuss the importance of safe driving habits during the winter months.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Weather-Related Car Accidents
If you have been injured in a weather-related car accident, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will ensure that you receive the maximum financial benefits you deserve for your injuries, and that your legal rights are protected. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.