It’s winter here in Grand Junction and that means snow, ice and lower visibility when driving. All of these things can add up to an increase in car accidents and car accident injuries. Here are some of the most common causes of winter accidents and the most common winter car accidents:
Cause: Slippery Roads – it’s possible that your town, like ours, doesn’t have an adequate number of snow plows. When snow blankets the Western Slope many side roads are left without salt or products to aid in melting and traction and even more are left unplowed. The snow begins to melt and then refreezes at night; days following big snows are then filled with drivers navigating icy streets.
Accidents: Rear-end collisions and intersection accidents. Rear-end collisions are common accidents under the best of circumstances, but during the winter there is an increase in these because it takes longer for us to stop. On icy roads, if we aren’t slowing down far enough ahead of time, we’re in a position to hit the car in front of us. It’s important to slow down sooner than you think you need to in order to prepare for a stop.
This is also why intersection collisions are more common in winter. The same ice that makes it hard for you to stop behind another car makes it hard to stop at intersections. If your car slides through a stop sign or red light, it’s quite possible you will be hit from another car entering the intersection. Again, we cannot say enough how important it is to slow down and begin coming to a stop sooner than usual.
Cause: Poor visibility – If you have to drive while it’s snowing, you’ll immediately notice a decrease in visibility. Even with wipers blazing across the windshield, the effect of snow falling effects how you view the world outside your windshield. Snow also begins to cover things we’d normally notice right away: parked cars, road signs, and objects in the road.
Another way poor visibility occurs is if we’re in a hurry and refuse to clear our windshields and windows of ice. Clearing one circle to see out of is a bad idea. Make sure you can see from both windows, from your rear window and from the windshield, clearly, before leaving your driveway.
Accidents: Collisions with other parked cars can happen easily when driving on residential streets with your visibility compromised.
Cause: Bald tires – Have your tires checked before the snow season begins to ensure that they are in good shape. Poor tires are no friend to ice and snow and the combination can lead to all sorts of accidents.
Accidents: Slips and slides into ditches, slides into other parked cars, intersection collisions from being unable to stop because of a lack of traction, rear-end collisions – basically bald tires can lead to a myriad of winter accidents. It’s best to avoid this entire scenario by having your tires checked before the snow falls.
As always, if an accident does occur, be sure to call us at Rick Wagner’s Office so that we can provide you with a free consultation and advice.