Crashes can occur at any point throughout the year in Indiana. Some of the most common risk factors for collisions include driver intoxication, excess speed and distraction. There are also environmental factors that contribute to someone’s risk of a wreck. These factors change from season to season.
Winter is arguably the season that has the strongest association with unsafe driving conditions. Thankfully, there are a few seasonal risks that drivers can proactively protect themselves against. Indiana motorists should watch for the following as temperatures start to drop.
Wet and icy pavement
According to research into weather-related collisions, wet pavement is incredibly dangerous. Roughly three-fourths of all weather-related collisions occur at times when the pavement is wet, possibly due to snow that melts. Wet pavement requires a longer following distance because it will take vehicles longer to come to a complete stop. When temperatures drop and the pavement is wet, black ice may form. Motorists could spin out and lose control of their vehicles. Adjusting habits to include slower speeds and longer following distances will reduce the risk associated with snow or ice on the pavement.
Vehicle maintenance issues
Motor vehicles have numerous systems that all need to work properly for optimal safety. Underinflated or balding tires are of significant safety risk during the winter months when traction is already a concern. Vehicle lights are also crucial to safety during the winter. Not only do the nights last longer but there are also winter storms to consider. Even if they occur in the middle of the day, they can reduce the visibility of vehicles. Working lights are important for visibility and safety. Strong windshield wipers and functional heaters are also important during the colder months.
Times of inclement weather often result in catastrophic crashes in Indiana. Too many motorists refuse to adjust their driving habits for severe weather. Driving at high speeds and following other vehicles too closely can lead to multi-vehicle collisions. Particularly on bad-weather days, motorists may want to consider alternate routes with less traffic and lower posted speeds.
Adjusting personal habits for the unique traffic risks that arise during the colder months can help people avoid weather-related collisions this winter. Driving the same as one does in the summer can be a recipe for disaster in the Midwest when the worst of the winter arrives in earnest.