During the Thanksgiving weekend, people in Ponca City got a taste of the inclement weather that is common to the region during this time of the year. People that live in and around Kay and Osage Counties know to expect freezing rain, snow and ice from time-to-time during the winter months. They should also know that when the weather conditions get bad, it is imperative for people to adjust the way that they drive their cars, SUVs and other vehicles.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, explains that weather conditions impact driving in a number of different ways. For example, fog and precipitation can reduce visibility, making it more difficult for drivers to see and react to what other drivers around them are doing. Likewise, rain, snow and ice can all decrease pavement friction, which can make stopping a vehicle problematic.
High winds can also affect driving conditions because they can cause reduced visibility due to blowing snow or dust, and they can also cause lane obstructions from debris that may be blown onto the road.
According to FHA data, about 23 percent of all motor vehicle accidents are related to the weather conditions. Moreover, thousands of people suffer catastrophic injuries each year while driving in these kinds of conditions.
While driving in wintery weather undoubtedly poses risks, drivers can mitigate some of the danger by taking proper precautions like slowing their speed and not following other vehicles too closely. Furthermore, if a person is not comfortable driving when the weather is bad, they should try to avoid it.
Although weather creates road conditions that lead to many auto accidents, the drivers themselves are often to blame because they do not take appropriate precautions when driving in the inclement weather. Regardless of weather conditions, when a motorist suffers injury due to another driver's negligence, the injured person may be able to pursue compensation through a personal injury cause of action.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, "How Do Weather Events Impact Roads?," Accessed on Dec. 1, 2015