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Use caution on North Carolina roads this winter

North Carolina roadways can be icy, wet, snow-covered and hazardous in the wintertime.
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    January 07, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Use caution on North Carolina roads this winter

Article provided by Mills & Levine
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The arrival of winter brings mixed blessings to the people of North Carolina: Christmas is a period of joy and celebration with loved ones, and the New Year is a time to reflect and start anew. Something that also comes along with the holiday season - and throughout the winter months - is dangerous conditions on the state's roads.

The time between Thanksgiving and New Year's is notorious for an increased number of accidents both throughout North Carolina and around the country. Between icy roads and snow, revelers who drank too much eggnog, frantic drivers searching for gifts at the last minute and changing weather conditions adding even more stress to already-tedious daily commutes, the highways and surface streets are more hazardous than usual. With these added hazards, the risk of ending up in an injury-causing car accident is great, especially given that serious injuries can be incurred in slow-speed crashes (such as those when vehicles slide through traffic signals or signs on icy or wet roads).

Understanding the hazards

It is important for drivers across the state to understand that they must approach winter driving differently than they do driving when the weather is warmer. Speed is a factor in many car accidents, but the risks of speeding are magnified during adverse weather conditions. It is much easier for vehicle tires to lose traction when there is a layer of water or snow on the road; when the wheels cannot maintain contact with the road, the car can easily skid out of control, especially if the driver doesn't have experience driving in such weather.

Winter can also bring about a change in the drivers themselves. As drivers add holiday season stress to the mix, aggressive driving increases. This itself can lead to more tailgating, speeding, sudden accelerations and changing lanes without signaling, all of which can, in turn, lead to accidents.

Distracted driving is also an issue on North Carolina's roads during the colder months. Granted, drivers texting, talking on cellphones, eating, grooming or reading a GPS device happens all year round, but it is made worse by the unique traffic and weather conditions that can happen in the winter.

Staying safe

Given that the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that more than 94.5 million people will travel 50 miles or more during the year-end holiday season, safe driving is imperative. Traveling at the posted speed limit (or adjusting it downward accordingly when weather or road conditions merit slower travel), staying focused on the road ahead, allowing adequate following distance and obeying traffic laws will help keep you and other travelers safe.

Unfortunately, no matter how hard you work to stay safe, not every driver does. Have you or a loved one been injured in a car accident with an unsafe North Carolina driver? Do you need help holding the at-fault driver responsible? If so, contact a skilled personal injury attorney to learn more about possible legal options.

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