How to Avoid a Winter Car Accident in Indianapolis
Winters can be harsh in Indiana. Snow, sleet, and ice can cause hazardous driving conditions and can be devastating for anyone on the roadways. In a recent year, the first snow of the season in Fort Wayne led to more than 95 accidents in an eight-hour period, as reported by the News Sentinel.
Storms have also contributed to many traffic crashes in the Indianapolis metro area. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has ranked Indiana among the top five deadliest states for winter car accidents, as stated by USA Today.
Nobody wants to be included in this startling statistic, and you certainly don’t want to hear about a loved one getting into an accident due to winter weather. Fortunately, you can be prepared to exercise safety when winter weather hits your region. And if you or a loved one do experience a serious accident in these inclement conditions, know that you don’t have to face the aftermath alone.
What Hazards Make Indianapolis Roads So Dangerous in Wintertime?
Winter in Indiana comes with a variety of hazards that can make driving anywhere a dangerous undertaking. For the sake of your own safety on the highway, the hazards you should know about include:
- Snow squalls: Wind and instantaneous near whiteout conditions can blind drivers and lead to wrecks.
- Icy roads: Indiana gets more than two feet of snow per year, and more than five feet in some areas. The state also gets 42 inches of rainfall. Combined with precipitation, cold temperatures in the winter can make the roads icy and perilous to navigate, even at slow speeds.
- Highway pileups: People driving too fast for conditions on wet, snowy, or icy roads, who fail to leave enough stopping distance from the car ahead, can start a chain reaction of multi-vehicle rear-end collisions.
- Ice fog and black ice: When temperatures drop, fog can freeze in tiny droplets. This can cause black ice to form on the roadways. Black ice is difficult for drivers to see, and it causes vehicle tires to lose traction.
What Time of Year Does Indianapolis Have Hazardous Winter Weather?
Whether you just moved to Indiana or are a long-term resident, you don’t have to be caught off guard by the seasons here. Being familiar with the weather patterns in Indiana can increase the safety of you and your family as well as other drivers on the road. The cold season in Indianapolis lasts for approximately three months — December, January, and February, as stated on Weatherspark. The coldest month is January, with average low temperatures of 23 degrees and highs of 36 degrees. On an average Indianapolis day in January, temperatures are freezing, except for a four to five-hour period in the afternoon and early evening, when they are very cold.
What Precautions Should You Take When Driving in Winter Weather Conditions?
It’s wise to limit your travel during the winter months to essential trips. If you must drive in Indiana winter weather conditions, taking certain precautions can help keep you safe:
- Slow down: It is more difficult to control a vehicle on slick or snow-covered roads.
- Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the one ahead to allow for more stopping distance.
- Stay safe in your vehicle: If you are stopped or stalled in winter weather, stay with your car, make sure it is visible, and be wary of carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow and run the car intermittently, for only long enough to warm up.
- Prepare your vehicle for winter driving: Inspect your tires and inflate them to the recommended pressure. Check your battery and replace it if necessary. Check your lights, windshield wipers, and antifreeze. Fill up with gas and keep the tank close to full whenever possible.
- Stock your vehicle with emergency items: Make sure you have blankets for warmth, water, food, and any necessary medications, a cell phone and charger, flares and emergency markers, flashlight, jumper cables, snow shovel, broom, ice scraper, and sand or kitty litter in case you get stuck in the snow.
How Can an Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney Help After an Accident Caused by Someone Else’s Negligence?
In addition to the numerous, serious physical injuries you or a loved one can face after a crash, there can also be emotional trauma and anxiety. Your way of life can forever change, depending on the extent of what you experience. Our attorneys know that there can be much uncertainty for you following a collision, and we will be at your side to show you compassionate care and to provide the answers you need.
If you have been injured in a crash caused by the negligence of another, our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys have the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively pursue compensation for your losses. Know that you have options as begin the journey of recovering from your injuries. Call Emerson Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, L.L.C. at (317) 969-8000 to schedule a free consultation. We can tell you if you have a case and what damages you may be entitled to claim.
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We are available by phone 24/7 to discuss your case, and we make it a priority to answer all of your questions as soon as possible.(317) 969-8000