South Bend Lake Effect Car Accidents
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Jan 08, 2018 in Car Accidents
According to data compiled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Auto Insurance Center, about 800 Americans die every year in car accidents because of winter weather conditions. Indiana is the fourth deadliest state for fatal wintertime car crashes after Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
The location of South Bend, being just to the east of Lake Michigan, puts our city at an increased risk of dangerous car crashes due to the lake effect. The auto accident lawyers at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak have decades of experience helping victims recover compensation after being injured in wintertime motor vehicle accidents.
Below, we explain the dangers of lake effect snow and offer tips to help you stay safe this winter.
Call our dependable law firm for a free, no-obligation consultation now: (844) 678-1800
What Is the Lake Effect?
Lake effect snow is caused by cold air moving across a warmer lake, where the air picks up moisture. When the wind blows this moisture over land, it drops the moisture as sleet or snow. This effect may produce several inches of snow per hour. Lake effect snow is common across Indiana during the late fall and throughout the winter.
Lake effect snow can be particularly dangerous because it can occur without warning and without weather forecasts predicting precipitation. This effect can cause heavy snowfalls in one location while a nearby location has no precipitation at all.
Wind direction has a critical impact on which area will likely receive lake effect snow. Lake effect winds usually blow from west to east in the Northern Hemisphere, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The topography of the surrounding land can affect road conditions, as hills and mountains can cause the snow to dissipate, while flat lands may see a large accumulation of precipitation in one area.
Dangers of Driving in Lake Effect Snow
Because lake effect snow may arise with little to no warning, drivers are often caught off-guard and unprepared, as white-out conditions can suddenly decrease visibility and make the road slippery. Ice, sleet and other accumulation on the roadway can make it easier for drivers to slide off the road or into oncoming traffic. Rollover accidents may occur if a driver slides off the roadway. Drivers who cannot see each other may wind up in rear-end collisions, sideswipe accidents or pileups.
Winter Driving Tips
Drivers are encouraged to stay home when travel is not necessary, or to drive slowly and carefully when travel is necessary. Some additional winter driving safety tips include:
- Plan your route before you head out, and be aware of alternative routes if roadways are dangerous.
- Clear windshields, windows and the car’s exterior of snow before driving.
- When approaching white-out conditions, immediately remove your foot from the gas and turn off cruise control.
- Provide plenty of space between you and other vehicles.
- Ensure all occupants in your vehicle have their seat belts buckled up.
- Have an emergency bag of supplies available in your vehicle in case you are involved in an accident and you get stranded. Include flares, traffic cones, a flashlight, a charged cellphone, first aid kit, extra blankets and nonperishable food.
- Keep a long rope available in your front or back seat area. If you become stranded and cannot see outside, and you must go to the trunk or rear area, tie one end of the rope to the steering wheel and the other end to your wrist. That way, you will be able to reach the contents of your trunk without losing track of your vehicle.
Contact Our Lawyers for Assistance
Lake effect snow accidents often occur suddenly, and you may be confused about what to do. If you suffered an injury, seek immediate medical treatment. Then, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
The caring lawyers at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak can help accident victims who were injured in lake effect snow accidents. We work diligently to fight for the compensation you need after a serious wintertime accident.
We offer a free consultation so that you can learn about your possibility of recovering compensation. If you decide to move forward with your claim, you will only owe us attorney’s fees if we secure a settlement or award on your behalf. There is no risk to you, and no obligation. Contact us today to see how we can help you.