Icy, slushy roads among the most dangerous driving conditions

Winter road conditions are responsible for thousands of crashes each year, but speed and reckless driving can also be factors.

For residents in West Virginia as well as most of the country, it's turning out to be a long, cold winter. It might not be so bad for those who don't have to go outside very often, but most people still need to go outdoors for their jobs or school. Unfortunately, this means traveling on the roads during the worst weather of the year.

Holiday travel may be over for the most part, but motorists will still risk weather-related car accidents for many weeks to come. Sadly, many of these accidents will turn tragic. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, adverse weather conditions cause at least 480,000 crashes that result in serious injuries and more than 6,200 fatal car accidents throughout the country each year.

Common winter weather hazards

Ice, especially black ice, is one of the most dangerous conditions that drivers can encounter in the winter, states Esurance. Even if it doesn't seem that cold outside, ice can still be on the roads, which thaw out slower than other surfaces. Black ice is particularly treacherous during the night and early morning hours, since it can appear to be wet pavement rather than ice. Black ice is extremely slick, and it can be difficult for a vehicle to recover from a skid.

Other dangers that drivers may encounter during the winter include:

  • Foggy or icy windshields that restrict visibility
  • Slush that's kicked up onto the windshield from passing vehicles
  • Changes in tire pressure that can affect tires' ability to grip the road
  • Sliding or skidding on ice or slush, and the inability to brake effectively

Additionally, many drivers underestimate the dangers of winter driving, especially if they believe they are safe with all-weather tires. Some drivers continue to speed or swerve in and out of traffic on icy roads as if the roads were clear. Unsurprisingly, these driving habits often result in accidents, some of which involve other vehicles.

Weather conditions believed to have been cause of tragic Jackson County crash

It is unknown whether speed was a factor, but authorities believed the treacherous winter weather contributed to a fatal crash in December 2014 in Jackson County. According to WHSV News, a driver carrying five passengers lost control on Interstate 77, smashed through a median and struck an oncoming pickup truck. The original vehicle caught fire, and five out of the six people inside were killed. The driver of the pickup and one person in the first vehicle received non-life threatening injuries.

Contacting an attorney

If you were injured in a car accident caused by a careless or aggressive driver in adverse conditions, you may be eligible for compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights.

Keywords: car, auto, accident