Ask any meteorologist, and they will tell you that weather is becoming increasingly unpredictable. Changing climates around the world have brought intense hurricanes, wildfires, and winter weather to areas that have not experienced it in past years. Even though winter storms and icy roads are not common in South Carolina, coming winters could produce more snow and ice than ever seen before.
Drivers unfamiliar with driving in these conditions should be prepared for them. Not understanding how to drive in snow, slush, and other winter weather can result in serious and fatal accidents. Thinking “that could never happen on South Carolina roads” is a big mistake. A snowstorm in January 2018 in the Charleston area left five inches of snow in some areas. This led to over 650 traffic wrecks.
The safest option is to stay home, but this is not always possible. If there is news of an approaching storm, motorists should study the weather forecast and pay attention to traffic reports.
Driving on Snowy Roads
Slowing down by 10 miles per hour or more and maintaining extra distance from other vehicles is smart advice for anyone driving in snow. Motorists should hold steady speeds and take turns and lane changes slowly. Accelerating after traffic lights turn green or after other stops should also be done carefully. When braking, it is safer to decelerate or push the brake pedal slowly.
Skidding on a snowy road can be frightening, and the first instinct may be to brake. This can make the skid worse. Instead, the driver should take their foot off the gas, and the car should be steered into the direction of the skid. If the car starts spinning, the driver should gently turn the steering wheel into the skid. This should have a counter effect.
Driving on Icy Roads
The guidelines for driving on icy roads are similar to those for snowy roads; slow down, maintain safe distances, and stop and start slowly. Ice-covered roads can be even more slippery, causing vehicles to slide without control. They also tend to be unexpected and hard to see. If a patch of clear ice is on a black road, it can be invisible to drivers. Black ice forms more frequently at night, when temperatures drop. If a driver encounters black ice, they should ease up on the gas; oftentimes, the momentum will carry the vehicle over the ice.
Determining Fault for Winter Road Accidents
Weather-related road conditions contribute to accidents, but insurance companies consider all factors when determining claims. If two vehicles are involved, it could end up as a case of shared liability. The insurance company may make some concessions for the weather, but in many cases, one or both drivers are held liable. Drivers are responsible for controlling their vehicles in all types of weather, so learning how to drive during poor road conditions is extremely beneficial.
Columbia, SC Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Victims Involved in Weather-Related Wrecks
Winter roads can be hazardous, but car accidents occur in all types of driving conditions. If you need help with your car accident claim, contact the Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Call 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623, or fill out an online form today for a free consultation.
We proudly serve clients throughout South Carolina, including the areas of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the areas of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.