Car accidents in Oregon and around the country that take place on roadways covered in snow, ice or slush claim over 1,300 lives and injure more than 116,800 road users every year according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, but there are steps drivers can take to greatly reduce their chances of being involved in a winter crash. Motorists should obey speed limits and maintain safe distances at all times, but giving other vehicles ample room and slowing down is especially important when weather conditions are treacherous.
Drivers should also check their local weather forecasts before setting out and allow extra time to complete their journeys when road conditions are expected to be poor. When progress is slow and a late arrival is likely, motorists should resist the urge to make up for lost time if the road opens up. Tire pressures should be checked frequently during the winter months as they fall when temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and safety features like anti-lock braking and traction control systems should be monitored as their frequent activation is a sign that motorists are driving dangerously.
Driving too slowly can be almost as dangerous as speeding during the winter months as it creates a swerving hazard and makes rear-end collisions more likely. In states like Wyoming that experience heavy snowfall, drivers should consider investing in a set of winter tires. These tires are made of a softer rubber compound and feature wider tread patterns for better traction on snow.
When their clients are injured in winter car accidents, experienced personal injury attorneys may seek to obtain evidence of negligence by checking police and weather reports and having the vehicles involved inspected. Reports can reveal the road conditions at the time of the crash and the speeds involved, and vehicle inspections could uncover signs of poor maintenance, defective safety systems or bald tires.