January is typically the coldest month of the year in the state of Indiana. Driving during this month can become risky, with everyone scrambling to get to work, school and other commitments. When unsafe drivers are added to the mix, the potential risks that could lead to accidents increase significantly.
For the safety of all road users, it’s crucial to understand how to adapt to the challenging conditions presented by Indiana’s winter weather. Otherwise, the consequences can range from minor disruptions, like delays and vehicular damage, to more severe outcomes such as serious injuries or even loss of life.
That said, here are three primary hazards that make driving particularly dangerous during winter to be aware of.
Roads that become dangerously icy
Icy roads can be treacherous. Among many weather-related conditions that can impact driving, this is often the most dangerous. In icy conditions, decreased friction and traction on tires are common, which can reduce vehicle control and increase braking distances. This leads to a higher likelihood of accidents.
In addition, black ice, being hard to detect, poses a risk if drivers fail to identify it and proceed without caution.
Reduced visibility during the season
Winter weather often brings conditions that challenge even the most experienced drivers. This difficulty arises from weather phenomena such as snowfall, sleet and fog. All of these can drastically reduce visibility, making it harder to see the road ahead, other vehicles, pedestrians and potential hazards.
This increased difficulty raises the risk of collisions and accidents.
Impact of cold weather on vehicle performance
Freezing weather can negatively impact how a car functions. It can cause multiple issues that reduce the car’s performance, such as decreased battery power, thickening of motor oil, low tire pressure and difficulties with heaters and defrosters. These issues can lead to unexpected breakdowns and complications, such as stranded motorists and driving delays, risking those on long trips or driving to remote areas.
Staying safe despite the risks
While winter driving presents unique challenges, safety is primarily about preparation, awareness and careful driving. Drivers should avoid driving over speed limits and stay alert to changing road conditions. However, even with the utmost precautions, accidents can still happen due to factors beyond control. In such instances, seeking the help of a legal professional can be crucial to work through the aftermath of a winter driving accident.