December is here, which, for many, signals that the holidays are fast approaching—a time to reflect on the year, take some time off, and spend time with family. But unfortunately, with December and winter comes wintry cold weather, which can pose a danger to drivers and even lead to Maryland car accidents.
How Many Weather-Related Accidents Are There Each Year?
According to the Federal Highway Administration, there are over 5.8 million vehicle crashes every year, on average. Approximately 21% of these crashes—or 1.2 million—are weather-related, meaning they occurred in adverse weather or on pavement affected by the weather. On average, nearly 5,000 people are killed, and over 418,000 people are injured in weather-related crashes each year.
So, while it can be very exciting to see a fresh snowfall in Maryland, those who are planning to drive should be aware of the impact the snow, or other wintry weather, might have. Snow might make the roads slushy, leading to difficulty turning or stopping vehicles. Perhaps even more dangerous, sleet or freezing rain can freeze over on the road, causing icy roads that may not even be visible while driving, but can cause serious and even fatal crashes. It may be difficult for drivers to see in wintry weather, as well, further exacerbating the problems.
Recognizing these dangers, the National Safety Council has published recommendations for how to be safe while driving in winter. Maryland drivers should check up on their car to prepare for winter driving—testing the battery, the tire treads and air pressure, and the wiper blades. On the day they drive, drivers should first make sure to clean the car’s side-view mirrors and remove ice, dirt, and snow from sensors to make sure any assistive driving features (such as automatic braking) can work. While on the road, drivers should avoid using cruise control in wintry conditions, increase their following distance behind other vehicles, and accelerate and decelerate more slowly than usual. Hopefully, following these tips can help prevent Maryland car accidents from causing tragic injuries or deaths this holiday season and beyond.
Do You Need Assistance From a Maryland Car Accident Attorney?
Even when taking the best precautions, sometimes Maryland car accidents will happen, and they can, unfortunately, be extremely physically and financially damaging. If your family has found that the injuries resulting from a car accident have disrupted your holidays, contact the personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, to learn how we can help. By calling us at 800-654-1949, you’ll be reaching a team of dedicated and compassionate attorneys who have years of experience representing Maryland clients in all sorts of accident cases. We also understand that deciding whether or not to file a personal injury lawsuit can be difficult, confusing, and even overwhelming, so our attorneys will meet with you for a free initial consultation to discuss your options, risk-free. And if you work with us to bring suit, we will be with you at every step of the way, handling the bulk of the case so that you and your family can focus on recovery.