Don’t Let Winter Driving Dangers Ruin Your Season
Pennsylvania gets its fair share of snow, sleet, and rain in the winter months, and this often leads to more car accidents. These accidents are often preventable, and it is important to know how to be safe in the winter. Following these tips will also help ensure you are not liable or negligent in any accident that may occur.
If you find yourself in a winter driving accident, contact Freeburn Law for assistance. We have years of experience handling complex car accident cases, and we can keep any accident from ruining your winter season.
Pennsylvania is a Dangerous State for Winter Driving
Money Geek ranks state winter driving dangers based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data and other statistics.
The top 10 worst states for driving in the US in the winter are:
- South Dakota
As you can see, Pennsylvania is the fourth most dangerous state to drive in during the winter. It is important to be aware of these statistics and mindful that you don’t become one of them.
How Many Crashes Happen in Pennsylvania During the Winter?
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) compiles statistics each year about the accidents that happen in the state, including driving conditions. According to the 2022 report from PennDOT, there were 8,449 car accidents during snow, sleet, or freezing rain. Of these, 32 accidents were fatal.
Let’s put those numbers in perspective. The NHTSA reports that Pennsylvania has 1% more fatal crashes than the average for the nation. There were also 1,191 fatal accidents in Pennsylvania in 2022, which means that winter road fatalities make up almost 3% of the fatalities for the year, even though these conditions are rare.
Top Winter Driving Tips to Avoid Car Accidents
There are many winter driving tips that will help you avoid car accidents.
- Drive 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.
- Look 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.
- Focus 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.
- Check your dashboard regularly. 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.
- Get your car serviced. Make sure your defrosters, heaters, and windshield wipers are working, and make sure your tires have sufficient tread depth for the winter weather. You may want to consider all-season radials.
- Keep a safe distance. Section 3310 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle and Traffic Code states that drivers have a responsibility to maintain a safe following distance sufficient for road conditions. If you fail to keep a safe distance and rear-end a driver, you could be found at fault.
If you follow all of these driving tips, you should be able to avoid most car accidents. You should also have an emergency kit prepared, as well as be ready to take action if you do have an accident.
Central Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorney Here to Help
At Freeburn Law, we are dedicated to keeping our community safe. We provide tips like these to help our clients avoid accidents. However, if you are injured in an accident, we are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today at (717) 777-7777 for more information or to schedule your free consultation. Keep our number handy in case you do have an accident over the winter, and call us as soon after the accident as possible. This will ultimately help you keep the accident from ruining your winter.