With winter coming to a close, drivers throughout the state of Wisconsin are celebrating better driving conditions, and for good reason. This February marked one of the worst driving months in recent memory for travelers across Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin State Patrol, a staggering 5,892 vehicle assistance calls were made to law enforcement. The vast majority of these calls were due to vehicles sliding off the road or other car accidents. With the record snowfall behind us, it is still important for drivers to practice caution as they prepare for springtime driving. If you or a family member are injured in a car accident this spring, you should reach out to a legal professional as soon as possible.
The Dangers of Spring Driving
As the snow begins to melt, many American drivers believe that the majority of traffic dangers are gone. That notion could not be further from the truth. Driving during spring months comes with its own set of dangers and risk factors, including:
- Heavy Rainfall: While the absence of snowfall can be a reassuring sign for drivers, spring weather usually brings heavy rain. Driving during heavy rainfall can be incredibly dangerous, for a number of reasons. First and foremost, significant rainfall severely impacts a driver’s visibility. Secondly, pools of water on the road can cause drivers to hydroplane and lose control of their vehicles. If you experience heavy rain, make sure to drive at safe speeds.
- Changes in Temperature: During the spring months, it is not uncommon to experience a wide array of temperatures. While the warm days of spring are a welcome sight, the colder days can come with dangerous driving conditions. If temperatures drop significantly after days of rainfall, roads are likely to be dangerously icy. If the temperatures drop while precipitation is present, you may experience hail, which can decrease visibility and hearing while driving and cause substantial damage to your vehicle. If you see a cold front coming, make the proper preparations.
- Reckless Drivers: With the melting of snow comes an increase in careless drivers. As people start to see roadways clear of snow and ice, they are likely to drive more recklessly. Common forms of reckless driving include speeding, swerving erratically, and tailgating. If you notice a reckless driver in your vicinity, slow down and give them ample opportunity to pass. If you are scared for your safety, pull over to the side of the road and alert local law enforcement.
- Pedestrians and Bicyclists: With nicer weather and sunshine officially here in Wisconsin, hundreds of people are starting to enjoy nice walks and bike rides. As a driver, it is your responsibility to watch out for both bicyclists and pedestrians. Throughout 2017, 5,977 pedestrians were fatally injured after being struck by motor vehicles. Over that same period, 783 bicyclists were killed in car accidents. While driving at night, it can be increasingly difficult to notice cyclists and pedestrians. Make sure that you are constantly on the lookout this spring.
- Construction Crews: With the snow finally melting, construction crews are beginning to work on projects. With so much road damage occurring each winter, there are likely to be a large number of construction zones on the road. As you approach a construction zone, you are legally required to lower your speed and be prepared to stop. Failure to slow your vehicle can result in costly traffic citations, and potential injury to yourself and the workers present. With workers either on the road or close to it, it is also important to avoid mobile phone use while driving. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 799 people were killed in work zone car accidents in 2017.
- Children Playing: As the sun comes out, so do children to play outside. Throughout 2016, 456 children were killed throughout the United States after being struck by motor vehicles. As many as 40,000 children suffer injuries after being hit by cars each year. As a driver, it can be difficult to spot children on the road, because they are smaller in stature, and they do not always cross the street at marked crosswalks. It is your responsibility to be watchful for children on the road. As you drive in residential areas, it is incredibly important to drive at cautious speeds.
Contact an Appleton Car Accident Lawyer
A motor vehicle collision can be terrifying and costly. A serious injury experienced by a loved one can cause a great deal of physical and emotional pain, and the financial ramifications of a collision can be life-changing. From vehicular damage to substantial medical expenses, the health of your financial future should not be at risk due to the negligence of another driver. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., our attorneys are here to ensure that you and your family are not financially harmed in the aftermath of a collision. To schedule a free initial consultation with a Green Bay personal injury attorney, contact us today at 920-739-7366....