Rhode Island winters can be brutal. Not only do we experience the cold, brisk temperatures of New England, but our coastal location also makes us susceptible to blizzards, nor’easters, and fluctuating temperatures.
When inclement weather strikes, your travel plans may be delayed. When taking to the roadways, your commute could be slowed down, as stopping and steering can be difficult.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), about 24 percent of winter traffic accidents occur when the roads are compromised by snow, slush, or ice. This accounts for more than 1,300 deaths and 116,800 injuries across the nation each year.
Out of that, 15 percent of accidents happen when snow or sleet is falling – accounting for 900 deaths and 76,000 injuries.
Common causes of winter accidents
Winter weather conditions can often be the culprit behind rear-end accidents, head-on collisions, T-bone accidents, lane-departure accidents, and sideswipes. The primary factors include, but are not limited to:
- Slick road conditions: It doesn’t have to be snowing for Rhode Island roads to be slick. In fact, black ice and drifting snow can cover some spots on the road and can be difficult to avoid.
- Limited visibility: Heavy snow, blizzard conditions, and snow squalls are common during this time of year. Rhode Island also receives strong coastal winds, which can result in blowing snow and whiteout conditions.
- Hydroplaning: When temperatures rise above freezing and snow melts at a rapid pace, large puddles can form in the roadway. This puts drivers at risk of hydroplaning.
- High winds: The violent wind gusts experienced in Rhode Island are dangerous enough for drivers. When combined with slick road conditions and icy spots, they can cause catastrophic accidents.
Winter accidents caused by negligence
Driving during the winter in Rhode Island doesn’t require a great deal of skill. It only requires drivers to slow down, keep their eyes on the road, maintain a safe following distance, and give themselves more time. However, not all drivers take these precautions.
We have all seen that one driver who barrels down the highway at an unsafe speed during a snowstorm. When a driver’s risky behavior results in a crash, he or she should be held accountable. That’s where an experienced Providence auto accident attorney comes in.
Since 1991, attorney Mark B. Morse and his highly skilled legal team have been helping injured motorists recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering. If you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact us today to discuss your options.