Bad weather increases risk of North Carolina car accidents

If the start to the winter season is any indication, Carolina drivers could get plenty of opportunity to practice their inclement-weather driving skills as 2011 gets under way. Today, our seven blog series on safe driving looks at the hazards of driving in bad weather as we encourage Carolina motorists to get serious about safe driving in 2011.

No one wants to get into a Carolina car accident this time of year. Our series of blogs encourages defensive driving skills and inclement weather can pose the ultimate challenge. Other topics in the safe driving resolutions for 2011 series include: speeding, distracted driving, intersections, aggressive driving, drowsy driving, and drunk driving.
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On December 26th last year The Star reported 4 weather-related traffic deaths according to a North Carolina Highway Patrol spokesperson. On that day there were almost 2,400 calls for assistance.

In 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System there were 988 fatal crashes on roadways with snow and ice resulting in 2,711 deaths.

North Carolina reported 11 crashes resulting in 22 deaths.

Just because the roads aren’t snow covered doesn’t mean they are safe. Black ice, also known as clear or glare ice is a very thin layer of ice on the road surface. Ice on any roadway is dangerous but black ice is treacherous because the road looks wet, not icy. Of course black ice isn’t black; it just looks that color because the ice is so thin that you see the color of the road below. Try not to panic if you find yourself suddenly sliding on ice. The best maneuver is to steer in the direction that you are sliding until you gain traction.

In RoadTrip America’s 70 Rules of Defensive Driving, Rule #24 is slow down in bad weather.

AAA Exchange offers these helpful tips when driving in snow:

-Make sure fluid levels are topped off, especially anti-freeze as cold temperatures affect how your vehicle runs.

-Maneuvering in snow will be easier if you keep your speed down.

-Don’t allow your gas level to drop below half, gas lines can freeze making vehicles hard to start.

-Stay as far away from other vehicles as you can.

-Brake gentle on slick roads. Slamming on your brakes will send you into a slide.

-Accelerate and decelerate slowly to avoid spinning your tires.

-Check your tire pressure and make sure your tires have good treads.

-Assemble an emergency kit which should include jumper cables, a shovel, sand or salt, an ice scraper, blankets, warm clothes, water and snacks.

If you have been injured in a car accident in North Carolina, rely on the Law Offices of Lee & Smith for expert advice. Call for a free initial consultation at 1-800-887-1965.

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