Beebe and O'Neil

Preventing traffic crashes during the winter

For many people, driving in the winter months is particularly dangerous. For starters, many people travel during the holidays and some are struck by drunk drivers who took to the roads after drinking too much at a family gathering. In New London, and all other Connecticut regions, winter weather is another potential hazard which can make the roads treacherous.

Winter weather can affect roads in multiple ways, according to the Federal Highway Administration. For example, snow, ice and strong winds can all increase the likelihood of an accident. Every year, there are an average of more than 5 million motor vehicle accidents and roughly 22 percent of these crashes take place because of weather. According to statistical averages, icy roads claim more than 500 lives and result in over 38,000 injuries each year, while snow and slushy roads claim over 500 lives and cause more than 41,000 injuries per year.

On their site, the Department of Transportation has outlined a number of tips that drivers should keep in mind to reduce the chances of a crash. For example, drivers may want to try and stay on main roads as much as possible and should try to follow reports of road conditions. Windshield wipers should be fully functional and drivers should make sure they have emergency supplies in their vehicles in case they ever become stuck, such as a shovel for snow removal, flares, sand and a flashlight. Moreover, drivers should always keep an eye out for snow plows when they are driving during the winter months.

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