Winter Weather Conditions Increase Car Accident Risks in Oklahoma City
Winter weather throughout Oklahoma City is blamed for a series of car accidents and injuries. According to a January 11, 2020 Oklahoma News 4 report, icy roads contributed to more than a dozen crashes over a two day period. With more adverse weather on the way, drivers are urged to take precautions.
Adverse Weather Plays a Major Role in Car Accidents
Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers responded to a rash of car accidents after a winter cold front resulted in freezing temperatures and icy roads. Weather-related traffic tie-ups clogged Interstates 40 and 44. Sixteen car accidents were reported, sending at least five people to local hospitals with potentially serious personal injuries.
Of the more than six million car accidents each year, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports adverse weather plays a role in over 20 percent. Wet roads and freezing rain are among the leading culprits. “During cold, wet winter weather, visibility is poor and icy patches on the road make it difficult to maneuver or stop in response to traffic,” says Phillip P. Owens II, a personal injury attorney at Owens Law Office in Oklahoma City. “It is important for drivers to be aware of the dangers and take appropriate steps to reduce car accident risks.”
Protecting Yourself on the Road in Winter Weather
“Winter weather plays a major contributing role in car accidents and injuries at this time of year,” says Owens. “However, it is generally the reckless actions of other drivers which are ultimately to blame.” Reckless driving behaviors that increase the odds of a crash include:
- Speeding and driving too fast for conditions;
- Tailgating, improper passing, failure to yield, and other aggressive driving behaviors;
- Distracted driving, such as using cell phones or texting;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications.
During the winter months, the American Automobile Association (AAA) advises taking a few simple precautions. To save yourself frustration, check the weather before a trip and allow plenty of time to reach your destination. Give other drivers plenty of room on the road and expect unexpected stops along the way. Making sure your vehicle is well maintained is a good idea as well. Automotive issues are common in winter and increase your accident risks.