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Lafayette Attorneys Discuss Winter Weather Driving Hazards

Lafayette, IN auto accident attorneyWinter in Lafayette, Indiana can be brutal. Not only do we get hit with massive snowstorms (like most of the north), we're also fairly close to the Great Lakes. The lake effect snow bands may be more prominent further north, but they can still impact our roadways.  

Highway accidents are bound to happen during hazardous winter weather. In the midst of Winter Storm Harper, a jackknife truck accident occurred on Interstate 65 southbound, according to the Weather Channel. The truck completely blocked traffic, causing a line of commercial vehicles to be stranded. It's almost miraculous that no injuries were reported. 

Slippery conditions and poor visibility

Driving can be hazardous during the winter for the following reasons:  

  • Snow, slush, and ice: The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that around 24 percent accidents attributed to inclement weather occur when there is snow, slush, or ice on the roads. On average, these conditions result in 1,300 road deaths and 116,800 injuries in the US per year. 
  • Black ice: Unlike falling snow, sleet, or freezing rain, black ice is difficult to detect. In most cases, it takes drivers by surprise, especially when temperatures suddenly drop while roads are wet. Black ice can also form in spots exposed to high winds or heavily shaded areas. 
  • Blowing snow and whiteouts: After a major snowstorm has just occurred, strong winds often blow the snow into the air and onto the roadways. Blowing snow can cause whiteout conditions that can obstruct visibility and contribute to a crash. 

Mitigating human error during hazardous conditions

The National Safety Council offers some tips on how drivers can mitigate the risk of losing control of their vehicles during winter weather conditions. This includes:  

  • Disabling cruise control 
  • Looking and steering in the direction you wish to travel 
  • Maintaining a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you 
  • Avoiding brake use when approaching a hill 
  • Slowly accelerating and decelerating  

Injured in a crash? We can help 

Not every driver heeds the warning signs when inclement weather strikes. Some feel that it's perfectly safe to exceed the speed limit, weave in and out of traffic, and tailgate other vehicles. Drivers who engage in this type of behavior often cause serious crashes.  

If you or a loved one was involved in an auto accident caused by someone else's reckless driving habits, don't wait to take action. Whether you were injured while driving around town or in a highway accident, the legal team at Vaughan & Vaughan is dedicated to helping injured motorists recover the compensation they deserve. Contact us today to set up a free case evaluation. 

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