5 Tips to Prevent Motor Vehicle Accidents This Winter in Pittsburgh

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It’s November in Pittsburgh, which means cold days, colder nights and inclement weather that will invariably muck up traffic on the parkway, on the Fort Pitt Bridge, and any other throughway depended upon to get into and out of the city. The personal injury attorneys at Pribanic & Pribanic wanted to take a moment to remind folks that a little bit of pre-planning and a heaping serving of caution should be on the driving menu from now through spring – because motor vehicle accidents happen to the best of us, often in the worst of weather.

In fact, the research now proves it.

Consider this:

  • According to a study done by a University of Georgia researcher, more than 800 people die each and every year in the United States in motor vehicle accidents caused by snow, sleet and freezing rain.
  • The study further found that from the years of 1996 to 2011, more than 12,000 people died in the United States in motor vehicle accidents that occurred during winter weather that included snow and sleet. The average number of people who die in motor vehicle accidents each year was 817 deaths.
  • A similar study by the Federal Highway Administration in 2014 found an average of 769 people died every year in snow- and sleet-related motor vehicle accidents.

Any personal injury attorney can tell you: No matter what the cause – whether it is a defective automobile, defective equipment, negligence, or a few inches of snow and ice – motor vehicle accidents can cause serious injury and even death.

While issues related to a defective automobile, defective equipment or the negligence of another driver is largely out of you control as a Pittsburgh driver, there are ways to avoid a snow-and-ice related motor vehicle accident.

The fine folks at AAA have myriad suggestions for safe winter driving. We wanted to remind you of some time-tested tips for driving in the snow.

  • Don’t hurry. Accelerate and brake slowly and take time to slow down for a stoplight and stop signs.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer when there’s a few inches of the white stuff on the road. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • Give yourself some room. The normal following distance of three to four seconds needs to be increased to 10 seconds, which will give you more time to stop if there is an issue on the road.
  • Get ready to brake. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor, using the ball brake.
  • Don’t stop. There’s a huge difference in how long it takes you to move from a full stop and how long it takes to continue moving while already mobile. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, go ahead and do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hills as slowly as possible.

Motor vehicle accidents can be devastating – causing life-long injuries and, in some cases, death.

If you or someone you love was injured or died in a motor vehicle accident, it is imperative that you call a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand if you have a legal claim.

Whether the motor vehicle accident was caused by a defective automobile, defective equipment, the negligence of another motorist, or because of inclement weather, Call the Pittsburgh personal injury attorneys at Pribanic & Pribanic today at 412-672-5444 or toll-free at 800-392-4529 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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