The Federal Highway Administration states that 22 percent of all car accidents are weather related. This comes to nearly 1.3 million crashes every year. Residents of California who have to deal with snowy, icy winters know how dangerous this season can be for drivers. That's why it's important to understand how to avoid accidents as much as possible.
The first thing is to watch out for ice and black ice. Since the ground takes longer to warm than the air, ice may still linger after freezing temperatures pass. This makes braking and steering difficult. Black ice poses an even greater threat because it makes the road look wet. Shaded spots like bridges and overpasses are usually the first places to develop ice.
On the road, drivers should slow down, keep their distance from other cars, and avoid using cruise control because it can increase reaction time. They should ease on the brake rather than slam on it, and their car lights should be on low during the daytime. Drivers who are stuck in snow should not spin their wheels. Passing snowplows is never recommended.
Before heading out, it's important to winterize a vehicle. This means checking tire pressure, ensuring that components work and replacing old oil and batteries installed more than three years ago.
A car that's not properly winterized is more likely to get in a crash. In some cases, the driver could be held responsible for this. If the driver failed to put snow tires on his or her car, for example, the victim of the accident can file an injury claim. It may be worth while to hire an auto accident attorney first to establish proof of negligence. The attorney can then negotiate on the victim's behalf for an informal settlement, litigating only as a last resort.