Have you been prepared for fluctuating road conditions this winter? According to online-media group Thrillist, Kansas - which ranked #27 among states with the most miserable winters - is "smack dab" in the middle. Temperatures can reach as high as 80 or significantly dip below freezing.
The unpredictable changes in weather can be hazardous to Kansas drivers for the following reasons:
- Drivers may not be prepared to give themselves more time when winter weather strikes.
- Drivers may be less experienced when it comes to navigating slippery roads.
- Fluctuating temperatures can cause flooding or black ice.
What to watch out for during Kansas winters
Common roadway hazards faced by many Kansas drivers include:
- Snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain: KAKA reported icy road conditions and high winds along stretches of Interstate 70. Conditions were so bad that vehicles were reportedly sliding off the road. One truck driver even claims that he had to stop for the night after his trailer went off the road. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, about 24 percent of weather-related auto accidents are caused by winter weather conditions - resulting in over 1,300 traffic deaths and 116,800 injuries each year nationwide.
- Rain and flooding: On the day after Christmas, city officials in Wichita urged drivers to slow down and watch out for street flooding. Kansas often experiences winter flooding due to temperatures rising significantly above freezing after a snowstorm, and rainfall is also possible. When drivers travel too fast for the conditions, accidents caused by hydroplaning can occur.
- High winds: High wind gusts can be problematic for Kansas drivers during the winter. Wind can blow snow into the roadways, causing whiteout conditions and limited visibility. It can cause vehicles to slide or spin out when roads are covered with ice or snow. It can also cause black ice on bridges and overpasses.
Your legal options after a winter accident
Driving safely during inclement weather conditions isn't rocket science. It only requires attentiveness, preparation, and reduced speed. Not all drivers are as cautious as we'd like to think. Some simply see no issue with exceeding the speed limit, texting behind the wheel, or driving aggressively. This type of behavior results in someone else getting hurt.
Should you or a loved one be injured in a crash, it is critical that you speak to an experienced Kansas auto accident attorney who can help you explore your legal options. Contact Bretz & Young Injury Lawyers today to learn more.