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Winter Driving in Tennessee Often a Factor in Serious Accidents

The month of December and the rest of the winter season is a time when we see an increase in the number of traffic crashes.

This happens for a couple reasons. First, we have the onset of winter weather conditions. We’ve got snow and ice on our roadways — and even that morning skim can leave slick patches on the road.

Then we’ve got the increase in traffic with the holiday travel season. Our car accident attorneys in Maryville are asking drivers to be extra cautious on the road through the remainder of the year. Preparation and safe driving habits are going to help to keep you out of a potentially fatal winter car accident this season.

Statistically speaking, you are most likely to be involved in a weather-related accident at winter’s onset. According to recent studies, winter weather causes close to 2 million car accidents each and every year. Conditions can change quickly and causes vary.

Common Winter Road Hazards:

-Black Ice: This is the condition that causes the most collisions. Black ice can fool drivers because it appears as just water on the road. It’s a thin layer of ice that’s super slippery. It’s most likely to be found under bridges and in shaded areas of the roadway. Often it presents the most risk during morning commutes to work or school.

-Blowing Snow: This creates a number of dangerous driving conditions. First of all, it can significantly decrease your visibility. It can also melt on streets and form ice.

-Frozen Roads. Remember that Overpasses and bridges are the first to freeze. When driving along these roadways, be sure you slow down and leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles.

Before you head out, make sure you check in with the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) Smartway Mobile website. This is a tool that allows travelers with smart phones to check weather, road and other travel conditions throughout the entire state. There’s even live traffic video, construction information, weather advisories and forecast information. If you didn’t get a chance to check it out, or don’t have a smart phone, you can get all of this information on displays posted on overhead dynamic message signs throughout the state.

Transportation officials are also asking you to keep an eye out for snow plows and other ice-removal efforts. Steer clear of these machines and allow road crews room to work. They’re out there helping us, let’s help them by practicing safe driving.

“This year, we have taken steps to ensure we have the supplies we need to keep our roads clear of ice and snow,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer.

Lastly, we want you to be ready before you even pull the car out. Make sure that your windows and your mirrors are clear so that you can see where you’re going. Clean off your headlights and your taillights to improve visibility for yourself and to help other vehicles to see you. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and that the tread is not too worn. Keep your tank at least half full at all times.

If you are involved in a Tennessee car accident, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights at (865) 524-5657.

More Blog Entries:

NTSB’s Safety Wish List & Risks for Knoxville Drivers, Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, November 16, 2012

Tennessee Distracted Driving Law & Your Car Insurance Rates, Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, November 9, 2012

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