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Indiana Among Top 10 Deadliest States for Winter Car Accidents

Steve Wagner

Hoosier State Ranks #4 for Number of Deadly Winter Car Crashes

The Midwest and Great Lakes states are no strangers to winter weather causing havoc on most drivers. Indiana again ranked high from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for being a top five deadliest state for winter car accidents. Winter weather kills more Americans each year on the road than any other weather danger. Citing a special report by USA Today, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and New York lead the pack for having the deadliest winter weather related to car accidents.

“During years 2011 thru 2015, an estimated 800 Americans died each year in car accidents because of winter weather,” according to a review of transportation data shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Auto Insurance Center.

The mix of wind and near whiteout conditions, sometimes referred to as “snow squalls,” typically serves as major cause for winter driving wrecks because visibility can be reduced within seconds.

Back in 2015, a snow squall caused Indiana to be home to more than 200 car accidents in a short period of time. Local news outlets reported at least 150 crashes that incurred damage to property, 48 crashes that involved someone becoming injured, and 50 dangerous slide-offs occurred because of winter’s hazardous weather. Over 100 state police and county authorities were busy responding to the accidents in a short 12-hour period.

WINTER IS NOT OVER, PREPARE AND PRACTICE SAFE DRIVING

Safe driving should be a year-round habit but this new report has made it more obvious than even that winter driving in Indiana and its surrounding neighbor states do demand extra caution.

Indiana State Police provide these tips for driving in hazardous winter weather:

  • Drive according to reported road conditions
  • Allow extra time to get where you’re going
  • Clear all windows of ice and snow
  • Remove snow from hood, roof and lights
  • Slow steady starts prevent needless spinning of the wheels
  • Pavement is twice as slippery at 32° as it is at 0°
  • Beware of bridges, underpasses, overpasses, shaded areas and intersections where ice is slow to melt
  • Slow down – it increases traction
  • Avoid abrupt stops and starts – slow down gradually and keep wheels turning to avoid getting stuck
  • Use low beam headlights to decrease glare from ice
  • Wet pavement can cause hydroplaning at speeds as low as 35 mph – wheels may lose contact with the pavement causing a skid or spin
  • Wear your safety belt at all times
  • Don’t tailgate — always leave a safety cushion of at least two car lengths per 10 mph you’re traveling
  • When braking on ice apply gentle but firm pressure without locking brakes
  • Watch for pedestrians – poor visibility and slippery conditions provide hazardous walkways and crossings
  • Anticipate others’ actions
  • To regain control during a skid, release brakes and gently steer the car in the direction of skid

In addition, follow these essentials for safe driving no matter what the weather may be. Always be sure you and everyone in your vehicle are wearing seat belts and that children are riding in age– and size-appropriate child seats. Never drive after drinking or doing drugs. Do not drive when distracted by an electronic device, other passengers, music, or anything else.

If tragedy strikes and you or someone you love is injured in a winter driving accident, please call the vehicular accident attorneys at Wagner Reese for a completely free consultation. We will put our decades of experience to work for you, and we won’t collect any fees unless your case is settled or won. Call today: (888) 204-8440.

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