Winter Weather Car Accidents
Now that the holidays are over, South Carolina settles in for what could be a long winter season. Historically, our region sees some of the worst winter weather throughout the months of January and February, and recent years have brought Valentine’s Day snow and ice storms that have paralyzed the areas roads and bridges. Car accidents are common in these types of conditions, and despite an otherwise temperate climate residents of the Palmetto State are urged to be prepared. Being aware of the potential dangers and taking the necessary precautions when driving can help to protect both yourself and your loved ones during potentially hazardous winter conditions.
South Carolina Winter Weather Conditions
According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), even areas of our state that normally have mild winters can experience heavy snow or ice storms that create dangerous conditions. A 2014 winter ice storm caused extensive road and bridge closings in Charleston and the surrounding areas, and while snow accumulation is generally light in the region it can still present hazards for drivers. When planning a trip or even driving to work or school, it is important to be aware of the weather outside and what is can mean in terms of road conditions. The SCEMD advises residents to be aware of the following winter weather terms:
- Winter Storm Watch: This means that a potentially dangerous winter storm is possible in the area, and drivers should stay tuned to weather forecasts for changes in conditions
- Winter Storm Warning: Under these conditions, a winter storm is either occurring or is headed our way, and drivers should use extreme caution
- Freezing Rain: Ice accumulates quickly on roadways in these conditions and is often invisible to drivers. Use extreme caution
Anytime the temperatures drop below freezing there is a potential for roadways and bridges to freeze. Use caution when heading out in freezing temperatures, and avoid driving if at all possible.
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Winter Driving Safety Tips
If you must drive during winter weather conditions, the American Automobile Association (AAA) offers the following winter driving safety tips:
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated
- Check windshield wipers and washer fluids levels
- Keep your gas tank half full to avoid freeze ups in your fuel line
- Do not use cruise control on snow or icy condition
- Brake early and be prepared to use your brakes more frequently to prevent skidding and rear end collisions
- Accelerate slowly
- Go slower than the speed limit and try not to stop in ice or snow if you can avoid it.
Of course, always remember to use your seat belt, and be sure to be sober and alert before getting behind the wheel.
Reach Out to Our Office for Help
If you or a loved one has been hurt or injured in a car accident, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm right away. Our experienced South Carolina car accident attorneys can advise you on how to deal with insurance companies, and can assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.