What are the factors that make winter roads more dangerous? What steps can drivers take to protect themselves from the hazards of winter driving in Kansas? Knowing the risks of snow, ice, sand, and fog can help keep your winter drive from turning into a trip to the emergency room. Each winter, 24% of vehicle accidents are caused by weather conditions including snow, ice, and slush. These accidents kill an average of 1,300 people and injure a further 117,000. Many people call me and are in an accident on ice or snow and say no one was at fault. I always tell them that whoever was driving too fast for the weather conditions is at fault and if your friend, spouse, relative, child or some other person was driving, you may have a case against that person and their insurance coverage.
70% of American roads are located in regions that receive five inches or more of snow during the winter months. Speeds on snowy city streets and country roads decrease by 30-40% due to the reduced friction between the road and tires. Speeds on highways typically decrease 3-13% when light snow is present, and by as much as 40% when heavy snow is falling. Studies conducted at the University of Georgia estimate that snow is responsible for 84% of precipitation related to winter driving fatalities with sleet and freezing rain causing approximately 16% of fatalities.
Heavy winds in Kansas bring additional dangers to Kansans traveling down I-70, US 53, I-35, and other major highways. Blowing snow drifts can block highways and obscure patches of ice. Drivers hitting these drifts at highway speeds can easily lose control over their vehicle and end up in the ditch, strike another vehicle, or collide with guardrails. When blowing snow is present, drivers should slow down and use caution.
Poor road conditions are one of the deadliest dangers of winter driving and is a factor in approximately 11,000 fatality accidents each year. Road conditions are a considerable problem and 27% of urban roads in the US including highways are considered to be in poor condition. Ice, snow, sleet, etc, can obscure these defects. Poor road conditions in the winter also include roads that are damaged by snowplows. Plows traveling down the road can create potholes and dislodge asphalt. Drivers hitting these obstructions at highway speeds can damage their vehicles or lose control over the vehicle's forward motion.
Exposure is another cause of injury or death in Kansas during the winter months. Occupants of vehicles that become damaged or trapped on the side of the road along the state's highways can suffer frostbite. In bad weather conditions, abithathe state's vast open spaces means that cell phones may not have signals and it can be some time before another vehicle passes by. For this reason, all drivers in Kansas should have a winter emergency kit in their vehicle which includes road flares, windshield scraper, shovel, flashlights, snacks/water, matches/candles, blankets, and extra clothing.
Experience with winter driving and preparation for the hazards of winter driving can keep you safe this season. Residents of Kansas City and Olathe have some of the lowest winter accident rates in the country. This is due in large part to driver behaviors that include slowing down, delaying travel in storms, and preparing their vehicles for winter weather conditions.
Brad Pistotnik Law represents clients in Wichita, Topeka, Lawrence, Goodland, Garden City, Liberal, Dodge City, Salina, Wellington, Hutchinson, Newton, Emporia, Pittsburg, Coffeyville, Independence and other cities in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri and Illinois. Our firm can help you pursue compensation for property damage, personal injuries, and wrongful deaths that occur when negligent drivers don't take the time to slow down and prepare themselves for the hazards of winter driving.
We are Brad Pistotnik Law. ® We are Abogado El Toro. ® Hire the real Brad. ® Call in the Bull. ® We are the Bull Attorneys! ™ Call us at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. You can call from Western Kansas at 620-THE-BULL. Our main office location is at 10111 E. 21st St. N., Suite 204, Wichita Kansas 67206.