Driving in Wyoming During Winter: What You Should Know
Weather in Wyoming can be severe during the winter months. Snow falls frequently across the state from October through May and begins as early as late September in the lower elevations. Snowfall at lower elevations exceeds five inches on average approximately five times per year. We may see accumulations of 10 to 15 inches or more from a single snowstorm. The combination of low temperatures, high winds, and moderate to heavy snowfall can cause blizzard or near blizzard conditions that can last for up to three days.
Facts About Accidents in Snowy Conditions
People die in winter storms, as stated by the National Weather Service. Approximately 70% of deaths related to ice and snow happen in automobiles. In a recent year, an estimated 182,000 traffic crashes occurred in wintry conditions in the U.S., as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Snow and ice reduce friction with the roadway and maneuverability of vehicles. These weather conditions reduce visibility and roadway capacity, cause traffic to move slower, and increase the risk of a crash. Wyoming ranks as the worst state for fatal crashes caused by snow and sleet, as reported by Car Insurance Comparison.
Leading Causes of Accidents in Snowy Conditions
Winter weather conditions can bring ice on bridges, overpasses, and in shady areas. Black ice is invisible on the road. A thin film of water can form over melting ice, making it even more dangerous. Rear-end collisions are common on slippery roads, and so are accidents involving cars that go into a spin and slam into another vehicle or slide off the road.
Injuries From Automobile Accidents in Snowy Conditions
Motorists can suffer a range of injuries in winter weather traffic crashes. Common injuries include:
- Fractured bones
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Internal injuries
- Head trauma and brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe scrapes and bruises
Safety Tips for Winter Weather Driving
- Before you set out in your vehicle during the winter months, make sure you are prepared in case of a storm. Stock your truck and vehicle with items you may need in a blizzard, including tire chains, deicer, blankets, water and dehydrated foods, first-aid kit, flares and flashlights, booster cables, sand or kitty litter, and snow brush and scraper.
- Prepare your car for winter weather. Check the brakes, inflate the tires to the recommended pressure, replace the wiper blades, top off your windshield cleaning fluid, check the oil and other fluids, fill up the gas tank, check the lights and signals, and keep them free of snow and ice.
- Adapt your driving to hazardous winter conditions. Drive slowly, be alert for ice on the road, accelerate and brake gradually, and leave plenty of distance between your vehicle and the one ahead. To start your car going on snow or ice, use second gear with a standard transmission or drive with an automatic. If you begin to skid, gently ease your foot off the accelerator and turn into the skid until you regain control of the vehicle.
Compensation for Winter Weather Accidents
If you were injured in a crash that was someone else’s fault, that party may be liable for your injuries. You may be entitled to recover compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Our Wyoming car accident attorney can investigate the crash, collect evidence to support your claim, assess the full extent of your losses, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and fight for the compensation you deserve in court, if necessary. Call Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. at (307) 257-7800 to schedule a free case strategy session if you have been hurt in a winter weather accident.
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