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Why we can't blame winter crashes on the weather

Connecticut auto accident attorney

This winter season has already gotten off to a rough start in Connecticut. Recently, a small layer of snow caused some problems for drivers across the state. Four people sustained injuries in a two-car crash on Route 4 in Burlington, according to the Hartford Courant. There are no reports on how the crash occurred, but judging by the photo from the crash scene, it appeared to be a high-impact T-bone accident. All four injured people were taken to a nearby hospital.

December Crashes in Connecticut

In mid-December of 2019, several crashes were reported during icy road conditions, including:

  • A crash involving two semi tractor-trailer trucks in Tolland
  • Several collisions on Interstate 84 throughout the Hartford area
  • Several collisions on Interstate 91 throughout the Hartford area
  • A truck jackknifed across four lanes on I-91 around North Haven. Several people were injured in the incident and taken to a nearby hospital

Planning ahead is critical in winter weather

It's important that drivers pay attention to the weather forecasts this time of year. When winter weather strikes, being prepared ahead of time is key to preventing collisions. For example, if it normally takes a driver 20 minutes to commute to work in the morning, then it may be wise to significantly reduce driving speed and allow double the time.

According to The Weather Channel, winter can pose these issues for drivers:

  • Limited visibility: When snow is falling at 1 inch per hour, visibility is limited to one mile or less. When snowfall increases to 2 inches per hour, visibility drops to less than a quarter of a mile. Visibility decreases even more during snow squalls and whiteout conditions.
  • Slippery road conditions: When drivers attempt to slow down on icy or snowy roads, their cars will likely start to swerve or spin out. When traveling at 50 mph, it can take drivers at least 1,000 feet to come to a complete stop.

We can't blame the weather for the collisions that occur every time Connecticut gets snow, sleet, or freezing rain. These crashes are usually caused by poor planning, lack of preparation, and poor driving skills.

Common driver errors during winter weather

According to Business Insider, these are the leading errors that can lead to a crash during winter weather:

  • Driving too fast for conditions: This is the most common cause of collisions, spinouts, and lane departures during winter weather. While drivers may obey the posted speed limit, they may still be driving too fast for conditions.
  • Driving too slowly: Of course, there needs to be a balance in speed. When some drivers slow down too much, they can cause a swerving risk for other road users and potential pileups on high-speed roadways. Slow driving can also be problematic when traveling up a hill and can result in cars getting stuck.
  • Poor tire tread: Tire quality is critical during this time of year, and tread should be about 5/32 of an inch. Tire quality can be tested by inserting a penny between the tread. If the top of President Lincoln's head is visible, then it's time to get new tires.
  • Failing to clear ice and snow from car: Failing to clear snow and ice from a car can be problematic for two reasons: it can reduce visibility and snow or ice can break free and hit other cars on high-speed roads.
  • Having too much confidence in all-wheel drive: All-wheel drive may help drivers accelerate more easily during winter weather conditions, but it's not safe to rely on when it comes to speed or navigating turns. Drivers who have too much confidence in this feature are more likely to spin out or cause a collision.
  • Braking on slippery road surfaces: Once a car begins to slide or spin out, braking won't do much good. Instead, drivers should focus on a clear escape route rather than the car or object in front of them.
  • Skipping routine tire pressure checks: Adequate tire pressure is critical for car stability during the winter. Too little tire pressure can make it difficult to maintain control during slippery road conditions.

The Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli can help

If you were hurt in a crash this winter season, the Connecticut attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli can help you pursue a car accident claim against the at-fault driver. To find out how we can help you recover all damages accrued in your crash, contact us online and schedule your free case evaluation.

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At the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone and Morelli, we build powerful cases for our clients and have a reputation for turning over every possible stone in order to win them. Serving Connecticut, our dedicated, determined personal injury lawyers mean business and opposing counsel knows it.

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