North Carolina does not experience the kind of winters that people in northern Minnesota must endure, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t unique risks on the road during the winter.
Even without huge amounts of snow accumulation, the winter months pose several noteworthy risks that could easily lead to life-altering collisions. How can you protect yourself from a serious crash during the colder months in North Carolina?
Minimize how much you drive after dark
The winter months involve longer periods of darkness, with mid-December being when days start growing longer again. More hours of darkness and earlier transitional times for light levels can increase the overall risk on the roads.
According to the National Safety Council, the most dangerous times to drive include between midnight and 2 a.m. and between 4 and 6 a.m. every day. However, any time it is dark outside or drivers might be tired, the risk of a crash or a near-miss is much higher.
Respect slick roads and the effect on your tires
A thick layer of ice or multiple inches of snow isn’t necessary for colder weather to make the roads unsafe. Just a little bit of frost is all that is really necessary to turn a street into a slick surface.
As if slippery, dangerous pavement wasn’t enough of a risk, the colder weather and cold pavement will compound your traction issues by reducing the pressure in your tires. Driving more slowly when temperatures drop and monitoring the air pressure level in your tires could help you maintain control of your vehicle while you drive during the colder months.
Know the high-risk days during the winter
There is always risk for a crash, but certain days have substantially elevated statistical risk.
The major winter holidays and the weekends that directly proceed or follow them typically have a strong correlation with increased drunk driving crashes. If you travel around Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s day, you will have more risk than at many other times of the year for encountering a dangerous drunk driver on the road.
Focusing on safety by learning the risks that come with colder weather might help you avoid getting into a serious motor vehicle collision.