When the temperature starts dropping, crash rates start increasing. There are numerous reasons why the late fall, early spring and winter months often see more significant motor vehicle crashes.
There is a powerful confluence of factors during the winter that leads to a noteworthy increase in the risk on the roads.
Snow and frost can lead to slick streets
From the first time the temperatures drop below freezing overnight, drivers will have to worry about commuting to work on icy roads in the morning. Although the roads may be particularly dangerous on days when there are snowstorms, there doesn’t need to be much precipitation at all for the roads to become slick and dangerous.
There are multiple dangerous holidays in a row
Getting together with friends and family to celebrate a holiday is a fun experience, but it can also be a dangerous one. Driving over to your grandmother’s house for Christmas dinner may be a tradition, but it is also a calculated risk.
Drunk driving crashes tend to occur more frequently around major holidays, making them some of the most dangerous days of the year regarding your risk for a significant collision.
Drivers are often at higher risk when it is dark outside
Your overall crash risk is higher during the nighttime hours than during the day; reduced visibility and fatigue contribute to those risks. During the winter months, the darkness will last longer, with more hours of night every day.
On gloomy days, it may never actually become fully bright outside in the winter. The human body tends to respond to lower light levels by producing lower levels of energy. Reduced visibility and fatigue can both increase someone’s likelihood of getting into a serious collision.
Adjusting your driving habits for winter weather can go a long way toward helping you stay safer on the roads during the colder months. Leaving a little earlier and being proactive about vehicle maintenance could help you stay safer on the winter roads.
Knowing your rights after a crash is also important, as even the best driver can’t control what other people do on the road. Being able to respond to a wreck can be as important as trying to avoid one.