The winter months can produce severe driving hazards for Rhode Island residents. To be sure, when people in Providence decide to drive their cars during winter weather advisories, serious auto accidents can occur. Indeed, weather events can drastically impact the quality of roads, according to a fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA).
What can you do to keep yourself and your family safe? The first and most important step to preventing a deadly car accident during a winter weather advisory is simply staying off the road. However, if you must drive your car while a snowstorm is taking place, it is important to understand the risks, as well as ways to stay safe.
If another driver’s negligence caused an auto accident during inclement weather that caused serious injuries, you may be eligible to seek financial compensation. An experienced Providence car accident lawyer can discuss your case with you today.
Learning More About How Inclement Weather Impacts Roadways
The data provided by the FHA is extremely important for understanding how wintry conditions can impact roads. As the FHA explains, snow, sleet, ice, and other winter weather can have the following effects on drivers and highways:
- Impact the traction, stability, and maneuverability of a vehicle (general vehicle performance);
- Impair a driver’s visibility;
- Reduce pavement friction;
- Limit traffic flow; and
- Affect the infrastructure of roadways.
In other words, winter weather can wreak havoc on both the roads themselves as well as the driver’s ability to properly maneuver an automobile. And when winter weather advisories occur, they often point to the presence of particularly dangerous winter weather conditions, including but not limited to:
- High winds;
- Freezing rain;
- Fog; and
- Low pavement temperature.
As the FHA underscores, each of these dangerous conditions on their own can increase the risk of a traffic collision. And during winter weather advisories in Providence, more than one—and often many—of these conditions is present.
Safety Precautions During Winter Weather Advisories
How can you prepare yourself and your vehicle if you are caught on the road during a winter weather advisory? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides a fact sheet that recommends the following safety tips for proper preparedness:
- Maintain your vehicle by checking the battery fluid, tire treads, antifreeze, and windshield wipers before heading onto the road during the winter months.
- Keep a flashlight, jumper cables, abrasive materials, ice scraper, flares, and blankets in your vehicle at all times.
- If you become stopped or stalled, only run your car “just enough to stay warm.”
- Plan your driving route carefully and let others know your route and when you are likely to arrive.
For Rhode Island residents, it is relatively easy to avoid driving during winter weather advisories by staying informed. You can check the website of the State of Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency or the Providence AccuWeather report for updates. Related: Read more about safety precautions for winter driving.
Contact a Rhode Island Auto Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in an auto accident, it is important to speak with a dedicated Rhode Island auto accident attorney to learn more about filing a lawsuit. Contact Gemma Law Associates, Inc., for more information about how we can assist with your case.