Operating a vehicle always requires a certain degree of focus and attentiveness, but exerting that level of concentration becomes second nature during most months of the year. When drivers become accustomed to the usual conditions, however, it is easy to be complacent when winter rolls around.
Winter weather presents sudden and difficult challenges for both newer and experienced drivers. By reminding yourself of some of the most common causes of winter weather accidents, motorists can remain safer and more confident when taking to the road at any time of year.
1. Poor road conditions
It almost goes without saying that ice and slush can easily take control away from the unprepared. Drivers should be particularly mindful of slippery “black ice,” which is transparent enough to go unnoticed even by the most watchful of motorists.
2. Insufficient vehicle maintenance
It is crucial to properly maintain and winterize one’s vehicle in preparation for potentially harsh conditions. It is also wise to keep the windshields clean after winter weather causes dirt buildup or smudges, which can be particularly hazardous when precipitation further reduces visibility.
3. Drunk or distracted drivers
Drunk drivers often become more common during festive times of the year when celebrations are frequent. Drunk driving is always dangerous, but intoxication and distractions are even more life-threatening when road conditions are likely to cause drivers to easily lose control of their vehicles
Drivers have an obligation to be fully attentive and careful when operating a vehicle at any time of year. Winter is especially demanding, however, as a single lapse in attention can be more likely to result in harm to oneself or others.