Icy winter conditions can be dangerous for driving and cause significant damage anywhere you go. However, a recent analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from MoneyGeek revealed that some states pose more of a threat to drivers than others – and their findings may surprise you.
The ranking of the deadliest states for winter driving are as follows:
- South Dakota
As you can see, Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the U.S. for the number of serious winter driving accidents. Additionally, according to PennDOT, 51 fatal crashes happened in snow, sleet, or freezing rain conditions in 2020. Though the circumstances surrounding each of these accidents may have their differences, there are many ways that they could have potentially been prevented.
Safety precautions for driving in dangerous winter weather conditions in Pennsylvania include, but are not limited to:
- Driving smoothly and slowly. Sudden and jerky movements of your steering wheel and pedals could easily make your tires lose their traction, regardless of what vehicle you drive. Therefore, you should avoid excessively accelerating, making sharp turns, and slamming your brakes. Instead, be mindful, gentle, and gradual when going through the sleet and snow.
- Looking farther ahead than usual. You should already be looking outward on the road to know what to expect as you drive forward, but you should look even further when driving in winter weather. It is crucial to gauge upcoming road conditions as you go, especially when it is icy.
- Focusing on the direction you want to go when skidding. If your car is skidding in another direction, you should always keep your focus on where you want your car to go and ease your foot off the brake to give your tires a moment to regain traction. This seems counterintuitive, but when you let your peripheral vision cover the direction of your skidding, you are more likely to turn in the direction you want to go.
- Regularly checking your dashboard. If your car issues a stability control warning, it means that your car is beginning to slide from your intended path, and you should ease your acceleration to restore your vehicle’s stability.
- Thinking twice about the “All-Wheel Drive.” Chances are, you have heard that cars with “all-wheel drive” or “four-wheel-drive” are safer to drive in icy weather conditions. However, that does not make them entirely winter-proof. The all-wheel-drive system works by sending its power to all four wheels instead of two, enabling better traction when accelerating in a straight line. However, slamming the brakes and taking sharp turns should still be avoided. Regardless of your car’s equipment, reckless driving in icy and snowy conditions is always dangerous – and potentially deadly.
Trusted Car Accident Attorneys in Pennsylvania
Evidence shows that Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates of winter-related auto accidents and fatalities in the nation. However, that should not make you feel helpless. There are many precautions and preventative measures you can take to prevent a catastrophic weather-related accident. If you do find yourself in an accident, the car accident attorneys at Freeburn Law are here to help.
Since 1979, Freeburn Law has been fighting for accident victims across the state of Pennsylvania. Have you or a loved one suffered injuries and losses in a car accident due to hazardous winter weather? Submit a contact form on our website or call our office toll-free at 717-777-7777 today for a free legal consultation. At Freeburn Law, we will fight for you.