It’s turning out to be a typical winter in Michigan, which means freezing temperatures, snow, slush and ice. For those who can sit inside and enjoy a roaring fireplace, it may be quite pleasant. Most Michigan residents, however, still need to drive. This means braving roads that are slick and dangerous. Driving during the winter is hazardous enough when there are no other cars around, but most of the time drivers don’t have that luxury. They often have to share the road with people who are reckless, aggressive or simply don’t know how to drive in adverse weather conditions. This results in numerous crashes across the country each year. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration states that poor weather conditions contribute to more than 6,200 fatal car crashes and 480,000 accidents resulting in serious injuries every year.
Ice and slush are only two of the most hazardous winter driving conditions
According to Esurance, ice and black ice are two of the worst road conditions that drivers face during the winter. Roads can be icy even when the day is relatively mild, since ice melts slower from the ground than anywhere else. Black ice is even more deadly, especially at night and during the early morning hours. This slick, smooth ice can be mistaken for wet pavement-until a vehicle starts to skid. Other hazardous winter road conditions include the following:
- Problems slowing down or maintaining control in slush or snow
- Windshields and windows that fog or ice up, limiting visibility
- Tire pressure changes that can limit a tire’s function and grip
- Muddy slush thrown from passing vehicles
- Other drivers
In fact, many drivers fail to appreciate how dangerous the roads can be in the winter. Some continue to speed, tailgate or swerve in and out of lanes on wet, slushy or icy roads.
Weather conditions blamed for numerous crashes throughout Michigan
Authorities reported several recent fatal accidents in Michigan caused by the winter weather. According to the Daily Journal, ice and snow resulted in at least five fatalities, including two collisions that killed three people in western Michigan, a woman in a Sanilac County accident and a passenger involved in a crash in Escanaba. It is unknown whether speeding or other reckless activities resulted in these accidents, but it’s possible that at least one driver in the recent crashes failed to take the weather into account.
An attorney can help
An experienced personal injury attorney can advise you if you may be eligible for the compensation of your medical expenses and other losses if you were injured by another driver.