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Law enforcement warns of auto accident risk due to winter weather

Jan 28, 2022 |

The Ohio winters can be notoriously cruel with snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice making any type of travel dangerous. A problem that frequently causes auto accidents with injuries and fatalities is that drivers do not account for how inclement weather impacts safe driving. For example, driving at the posted speed limit is fine when the roads are clear and the weather is pleasant, but sudden stopping when it is icy or there is snow leads to skidding and can cause a collision. Unfortunately, the winter tends to have a spike in weather-related crashes and people who have been hurt or lost a loved one will face problems in the aftermath that must be addressed.

Cuyahoga County is particularly vulnerable to winter weather accidents

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is entreating drivers to understand the risk and take steps to avoid accidents. Statistics presented in the winter driving bulletin for the new year show that Cuyahoga County is at the top for winter-weather accidents in the entire state. In 2021 alone, the number of winter crashes had risen by 62% when compared to the prior year. In that county from Dec. 1, 2020 and March 2021, there were more than 1,600 crashes that were categorized as winter driving accidents. There were 975 in Franklin County; Hamilton County had 819. More than one-quarter were said to have been due to vehicle speed.

Cleveland is mentioned as a city where drivers should be especially cautious given the prevalence of cold weather and snow. Strategies that can help with preventing auto accidents include adjusting how a person drives based on road conditions; keeping a greater distance than normal from other vehicles; checking the vehicle itself with the tires and coolant levels specifically mentioned; and adhering to the basics like paying attention and maintaining a reasonable speed.

Knowing the proper steps after an auto accident is essential

Anyone can be involved in a motor vehicle accident at any time. That includes drivers, passengers, motorcyclists and pedestrians. People can suffer broken bones, head injuries, spinal cord damage, soft tissue injuries and more. These are just the physical aspects of a crash. It can also lead to emotional trauma that is difficult to get beyond. Medical costs, lost time at work and long-term damage can result. That is if people are fortunate enough to survive. A fatality can leave families wondering how they will move on. Understanding how and why the accident happened is key. If it was in the winter, the investigation should assess the cause and move forward accordingly. Having experienced help is a priority from the outset.