Winter weather is nothing to take lightly in Ohio. This is especially true when it comes to driving. During the winter months, drivers need to take numerous factors into consideration to help protect themselves and others from suffering harm in motor vehicle accidents.

According to the National Safety Council, adverse weather conditions contribute to a significant number of serious car accidents throughout the country each year. Winter is the most dangerous time of year for driving in states that experience heavy rain, snow and ice. Drivers should be aware of the following weather-related factors that can make the roads less safe:

  • Slick, icy or frosty roads after nightfall and in the early mornings
  • Fog, rain and snow decreasing visibility
  • Mud and slush creating slippery driving conditions
  • Heavy winds blowing obstacles into drivers’ paths or making it difficult to control the wheel
  • Night falling earlier than usual, especially during rush hour traffic

Black ice is especially dangerous in the colder months. This type of ice forms on wet roadways and is flat and extremely slick. Black ice can look like water or can be almost invisible. Drivers should take care at night and in the early morning, when black ice is more likely to be present, as well as in shady spots or under bridges and overpasses.

The universal tips for safe driving in adverse weather and low visibility are to slow down and be aware of one’s surroundings. It can also be wise to leave earlier to avoid the urge to rush or to pull over if conditions are too dangerous to drive.

Drivers who are aware of the risks, drive courteously and take precautions stand a much better chance of arriving safely at their destinations. However, they cannot always prevent or predict the actions of other drivers. Therefore, the law may entitle injured people to compensation after an accident caused by a negligent driver.