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Common factors in winter car accidents

Driving in the winter in New York is not for the faint of heart, with the influx of traffic and variable weather conditions making already tough commutes and traffic patterns even more troublesome for motorists. Many wintertime traffic accidents arise because of similar circumstances, and identifying the common causes of winter driving accidents may help you avoid becoming a statistic.

More specifically, many of today’s winter traffic accidents are the result of:

Road conditions

Cold weather and precipitation can wreak havoc on New York’s roadways, causing frost heaves, icy surfaces and poor visibility. Black ice, in particular, is a frequent factor in many car accidents, because as a motorist, you may not see it in the roadway until it is too late to take corrective action to avoid it. To reduce your chances of crashing because of poor winter road conditions, avoid speeding and try to leave ample room for stopping between you and other vehicles.

Improperly maintained vehicles

Even on warm winter days when there is no ice or water on the roadway, you run the risk of a serious accident if you do not get your car in shape for winter driving. In addition to ensuring your tires have enough tread and air, you will want to check to see that your wipers are doing their job and completely clearing your windshield of any obstructions. Functioning headlights and a high-performing defroster are also critical for safe winter driving.

Diminished visibility

Having properly working headlights and defrosters will also reduce your chances of getting involved in an accident caused by poor visibility. Furthermore, driving during daylight hours is typically safer than driving at night during any time of the year, including the winter. It may also benefit you to check weather and road conditions before leaving your home, office or what have you before making the decision to travel.

There is only so much you can do if others choose to drive poorly maintained vehicles or otherwise not follow safe driving practices. However, recognizing these key causes of many wintertime accidents may reduce your odds of suffering a serious injury because of one.

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