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How do winter driving conditions lead to serious accidents?

The winter months can bring harsh weather events, which puts lives in danger. According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 2,000 fatalities and one-half million accidents occur as a result of winter weather.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that at least 17% of all vehicle accidents occur during the winter months. Not only is it critical to know how winter driving accidents occur, but also what to do to stay safe in bad weather conditions, including fog, snow, rain and ice.

What causes winter accidents?

One of the most common causes of accidents in bad weather is speeding. People who drive too fast for conditions can cause deadly motor vehicle accidents. Slipping and sliding on black ice can also cause car accidents. You may want to consider using snow tires to ensure good tread. Pump your brakes when slowing down to avoid sliding. Foggy conditions can cause visual difficulties. It may be hard to see the car in front of you in a white out.

What should you do?

It is important to make sure your car is winter-ready before you hit the road. Ensure your tires, windshield wipers, steering system and battery are in good working condition. Furthermore, make sure that you have an emergency pack in the car ready to use in case something should happen. Other important tips to follow when driving in bad winter weather include the following:

  • Slow down
  • Allow plenty of room between your car and the vehicle in front of you
  • Wear your seatbelt
  • Avoid all distractions
  • Avoid using cruise control

In severe weather conditions, you should avoid going out on the road if at all possible. If you must go out, however, make sure you play it safe.