What should New York drivers know about winter traffic conditions?

Northern states like New York experience extremely cold conditions, which may make driving hazardous.

Many residents in New York and other northern states will be glad to see the end of this winter. Numerous bad storms and busy traffic have combined to make the winter months a challenging and dangerous time. However, the danger is not over yet. There are still at least a few weeks left of icy, snowy and wet winter weather that drivers will have to contend with.

According to the United States Federal Highway Administration, about 6,250 people are killed and more than 480,000 are injured every year in auto accidents attributed to the weather. Annually, almost 1,312,000 total car accidents are weather-related, making up 23% of all traffic accidents.

What traffic dangers do people face in poor weather?

In addition to rain, snow, fog and wind, drivers often have to deal with icy roads in the winter, states Esurance. One particularly deadly type of ice is black ice, so called because it often blends in with the road and can be difficult to see. Black ice usually forms when rain or melting snow re-freezes on the road overnight, causing the surface to become extremely slick. It is found mostly on bridges, underneath overpasses or on shady spots of the road.

How can drivers avoid weather-related crashes?

Many adverse-weather accidents occur as a result of driver error. Far too many people simply drive too fast for the conditions, or they put too much faith in their all-wheel drive or all-season tires. This is particularly hazardous on highways, where commercial vehicle collisions are more prevalent. One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of a winter crash is to slow down. Other preventive driving behaviors include the following:

• Giving other vehicles plenty of space

• Signaling before turning or changing lanes

• Not using the bright beams in fog, which can increase glare

• Watching out for children walking to and from school

Additionally, drivers should understand not to slam on their brakes if they start to slide on ice or snow. Instead, they should remain calm, ease off the gas pedal and carefully bring the car back under control.

It is not always possible to avoid an accident even when you are taking the best precautions. Other drivers may not be as careful. You could be entitled to compensation if you are injured by another driver this winter. An experienced New York personal injury attorney may be able to help you put together a case.