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Is Distracted Driving More Likely to Cause Car Accidents in Winter?

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Car accidents are a serious concern all year round, but winter weather poses an additional risk. Snow and ice create hazardous driving conditions and make it harder to control a car, and drivers need to be able to act quickly and respond correctly to dangerous conditions. When roads are slippery, and winter conditions affect visibility, a seemingly minor mistake can have deadly results. These issues can become even more serious if drivers fail to fully pay attention to the road. While distracted driving is a serious issue at any time of year, it can be even more dangerous during the winter.

Why Distracted Driving Is Riskier in Winter

During the winter, ice and snow make it much harder for drivers to control their vehicles. Split-second decisions often need to be made quickly and with precision. Because vehicles may take longer to slow down and stop on snowy or icy roads, and because a driver can lose control more easily, it is crucial to be able to respond as quickly as possible to events and changing conditions. If a vehicle in front of a person slows down suddenly, or if a pedestrian enters the road unexpectedly, a driver will need to be able to react quickly. If a driver's attention is divided between the road and their phone or other distractions, then there may not be enough time for those quick decisions to be made safely, and a driver will be more likely to lose control when they slam on their brakes or attempt to swerve. 

Another reason why distracted driving is riskier in wintertime is that visibility decreases. Heavy snow or fog can make it much more difficult to see the road and other vehicles. Even if the sun is out, cold temperatures can lead to foggy windshields and limited visibility due to ice buildup on windows or mirrors. When drivers cannot see where they are going clearly, they will be more likely to miss important details. Any distractions can make a dangerous situation even worse, since this may cause a driver to look away from the road, causing them to fail to see what is happening around them.

Finally, colder temperatures can lead some drivers to become fatigued more easily than normal. When a driver’s energy levels dip below optimal levels, they may struggle to focus properly on the task of driving safely. To combat fatigue, drivers may attempt to drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages, or they may play loud music on the radio. Unfortunately, these methods are not always effective, and they may create distractions that limit a person's ability to notice what is happening on the road and respond correctly to dangerous issues. Other types of distractions, such as talking or texting on a cell phone, can be even more dangerous when a driver is experiencing fatigue or other issues that affect their ability to drive safely during winter weather.

Steps Drivers Should Take to Avoid Distractions While Driving in Winter Weather

During the winter, it is important for drivers to limit distractions such as cell phone use and other activities that take their focus away from the road. Drivers should also pay attention to weather forecasts so that they can prepare for any hazardous conditions that might arise over the course of their drive. It is also important to drive defensively and be prepared for anything that might happen on the road, ensuring that a person can react quickly and effectively to issues they may encounter. A driver who fails to take the proper steps to protect the safety of others may be held liable for injuries that occur in a car accident.

Contact Our Milwaukee Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers

Distracted driving always carries a certain degree of risk, regardless of the time of year or the conditions on the road. However, those risks can become even greater during winter months due to icy roads, decreased visibility, and fatigue from colder temperatures. If you have been injured in a winter car accident, and you believe that distracted driving may have been a factor in the collision, the Milwaukee, WI car accident attorneys of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, LLP can help you pursue compensation for your injuries. Call us today at 414-271-1440 to learn more about your legal options.




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