The winter months bring with them colder temperatures, which lead to a potential for snow and ice — but the daytime temperatures are not always cold enough for ice and snow to persist.
Consequently, drivers face a constant thaw-freeze cycle that can present unique challenges. Not only do snow and ice increase the potential for road traffic accidents, melting snow and ice also creates a hazardous environment for road users.
Ice and snow that has melted can turn into water that lies on the road surface. As a result, large puddles start to form, which can be dangerous for numerous reasons. Firstly, puddles themselves are dangerous because they can cause aquaplaning.
Aquaplaning occurs when surfaces water causes the wheels of a vehicle to lose contact with the road surface momentarily. When traveling at speeds, this means that traction on the tires can be lost altogether. Having no traction may lead to a driver completely losing control of the vehicle, which can result in catastrophic accidents.
Potholes frequently occur during wintertime because colder conditions have a harsher impact on the surface of the roads. A constant cycle of freezing and thawing means that the road temperature changes constantly, causing the surface to expand and contract.
Hitting a pothole when traveling at normal speed can not only cause severe damage to your vehicle, it could also result in a serious accident. Crucially, when combined, surface water and potholes present a lethal combination. Potholes may be concealed by the water that lies above them, meaning that a driver has no chance to see them coming.
Being prepared for the changeable conditions associated with wintertime could help to keep you safe. In the unfortunate event that you have been injured in an auto accident, there are legal options available to you.