According to meteorologists, drivers in the District of Columbia and across the United States often have more trouble driving in light snow than in full-blown snowstorms. They say this is because many drivers are slow to recognize changing road conditions during trace snowfall.
Such a scenario played out in December near Grand Rapids, Michigan, when 50 vehicles piled up on U.S. Highway 131 during a modest snowstorm. On Jan. 4, many vehicles were involved in accidents near Duxbury, Massachusetts, during light snow. According to the National Weather Service, these crashes occur even after drivers are given ample warnings of hazardous winter driving conditions. Experts say there are a few reasons for this. One reason is that drivers don’t take winter weather “advisories” seriously, thinking anything less than a blizzard poses little threat. Another reason is that modern vehicles have so many luxuries, such as heated seats and noise-dampened cabins, that drivers don’t always sense changes on the road as quickly as they need to.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, close to 25 percent of all auto accidents in the U.S. between 2004 and 2013 were weather related. Of those crashes, more than 40 percent were attributable to conditions involving snow, ice, sleet or slush. In order to drive safely during winter weather, safety advocates advise that drivers pay attention to all NWS winter weather alerts and slow down whenever snow and ice are present.
Unfortunately, even safe drivers can be involved in serious automobile accidents if other drivers choose to operate their vehicles in a reckless manner. People who have been injured in a car crash caused by another motorist may benefit by speaking with an attorney. In some cases, it may be advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver seeking compensation for medical expenses and other damages.