Brianna House, 2018 Scholarship Winner Essay
Driving in the snow can be dangerous. From bald tires to speeding, small things can lead to big disasters. What are some things people can do to stay safe while driving in the snow?
Snow weather conditions can be extremely dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken by drivers. Problems such as speeding, phone distractions, and bald tires are all examples of how adding snow can lead to major disasters. The main thing that needs to be focused upon is how we can inform drivers of ways to stay safe in these conditions. Obeying the law by eliminating phone use and driving appropriate speeds while also ensuring the vehicle in use is properly fit for these conditions could easily help reduce potential disasters.
As we know that distracted driving is the number one reason for occurring car accidents. In 2016, it was reported that 3,450 people were killed and about 391,000 were injured in distracted driving (NHTSA). Although distracted driving does include any instance of taking your eyes off the road such as talking, phone usage, or eating. Statistics do show that during daylight hours approximately 481,000 individuals are using their phone while driving (NHTSA).
With these statistics adding snow into the variable can ultimately add percentage of vehicle accidents considering the driver is taking their eyes off the road at any point in time. Ways people can easily reduce these numbers of fatal accidents is by turning off your phone before driving, talk to teenagers about responsible driving, if you are a passenger in the vehicle remove the phone distraction from the driver by speaking up are just to name a few examples.
Speeding is also one of the most well-known culprits it motor vehicle accidents. According to a 2016 report, speeding has been a factor to twenty seven percent of motor vehicle related accidents and has been a factor in about a quarter of vehicle related deaths since the year 2007 (HLDI 2017). Statistically, it had been proven that car crash deaths were much higher on minor roads compared to major and interstate roads which resulted in about fifty two percent of speeding encounters happened upon roads with speed limits below fifty-five miles per hour (HLDI 2017). It seems as though that speeding could easily be fixed by individuals if they took a small instance to pay attention. Snow can be extremely dangerous especially if individuals are not slowing down for these specific conditions which can result in extreme sliding or loss of traction control. It is recommended for people to slow down to half the posted speed during inclement weather conditions which would solve most issues of speeding related accidents.
Finally, the vehicle itself is another culprit in causing accidents upon the road. Snow is a dangerous weather condition that is even more dangerous if a vehicles tires are not in proper condition. From personal experience this last winter, bald tires can make all the difference of a safe trip versus a catastrophic one. Bald tires result in loss of traction in all weather conditions which can ultimately result in lack of control, hydroplaning, blowouts, and other momentous events that can cause a motor vehicle accident. When driving with bald tires in the snow it makes it difficult to start and stop your car because of the loss of traction within the tires. Individuals can remove this issue by routinely checking their tires and routinely changing tires at the recommended 25,000 to 50,000 mileages (Kelly Blue Book 2013). Even though it is recommended at that mileage still checking before using the vehicle can significantly ensure safety and result in less accidents on the road in all weather conditions just by taking this extra
In conclusion, motor vehicle accidents especially in snow weather conditions would be significantly reduced in numbers by practicing safe driving by checking traction within tires, proper speed precautions, and removing distractions such as cell phone use. Around six million motor vehicle accidents happen in the United States per year and are decreasing every year because individuals are practicing safe driving habits more frequently. If the attention was brought to the three most common culprits resulting in accidents within the snow per year many more lives could be saved not only for drivers but for everyone on the road at these times. Two of these steps just require taking a few extra minutes before leaving the driveway and the last step of driving at a safe speed should already be a primary focus while driving so just take five minutes out of your day to dedicate to saving your life and the millions of others upon the road.