Winter Brings Dangerous Road Conditions
Texas weather ranges from hot and humid over the summer months, to cold winters, bringing icy streets and dangerous driving conditions. Operating a vehicle on icy roads is challenging, and the cause of many avoidable accidents. Homeowners are asked to turn off their sprinkler systems during freezing temperatures, but not everyone listens, creating sheets of ice and severe driving hazards in residential neighborhoods.
How to Avoid an Accident on Icy Roads in Texas
Driving on icy roads requires a special skill set. When the temperature drops below freezing, assume you could hit an icy patch at some point in your journey. Rule number one: Slow down. Hitting a patch of ice at a higher speed is a recipe for disaster. Whether driving on a crosstown artery, or through a residential neighborhood, go slow.
Icy Roads: How to Avoid a Spinout
When the street has patches of ice, enter the icy area with your steering wheel perfectly straight. If you feel your vehicle starting to slip, rather than braking, steer your vehicle slowly into the direction of the slide. If you brake hard, your car can slide out of control.
Accelerate and decelerate your vehicle more slowly than you would normally. It takes longer to bring your vehicle to come to a stop at a stop sign or stoplight. Begin your deceleration earlier, or you are at risk of sliding through an intersection and being involved in a collision with cross-traffic.
Increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you. You need a longer distance to come to a stop to avoid rear-ending the vehicle ahead of you.
Avoid stop-and-go driving as much as possible. When driving on icy roads, coming to a full stop is more difficult, and accelerating out of an icy patch is a problem. Move slowly through icy streets. If you are approaching a rise or hill with ice on the roadway, begin your acceleration, slowly and gradually, before approaching the hill to gain enough traction to make it to the top.
Speed Limits and Icy Roads
The posted speed limits are too high for icy roads, and not an excuse for causing an accident. You must adjust your speed to avoid losing control of your vehicle. A 35-mph speed limit in a residential area drops to about 20 mph when the roadway is icy or has icy patches. The same goes for larger streets and highways – ignore the speed limit and slow your vehicle. If another car is following you too closely, do what you can to move over and let them pass, or you are at risk of being rear-ended.
Accidents on Icy Roads in Texas
If you are involved in a car accident due to icy roads, who is at fault? Can you blame the road conditions if you were unable to stop and collided with another vehicle? As a driver, you are expected to operate your vehicle with a reasonable level of care. If the roads were icy and you did not reduce your speed, you could be held liable in a vehicle accident.
If you were hit by another driver who failed to operate his or her vehicle at a safe speed, call an attorney – particularly if you or your passengers suffered a severe injury. Our team at the Lenahan Law Firm has qualifications above and beyond the ordinary. As trial lawyers and specialists in civil appellate law, we offer an extraordinary level of personal care, service, and legal skill to every case we take on. Call (214) 295-1008 for a free case evaluation.