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What obstacles cause car accidents during the winter?

With the colder temperatures paying a visit to the Washington, District of Columbia, for the next few months, it is time for drivers to brush up on their winter driving skills. Sadly, some drivers might not realize that their actions can have a profound effect on the people with whom they share the roadways. With the high number of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists in the area, it is vital for everyone to do their part to keep the roadways safe.

What is black ice?

Black ice is a thin layer of ice on the roadway that resembles the pavement or asphalt. This ice is very slippery. Because of the way it looks, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians might feel like the roadway is safe. Driving at a safe speed, cycling with care and walking slowly can all help to prevent accidents on black ice. While we are on the subject, always be watchful for ice on raised structures, such as bridges, because these can ice before other surfaces.

Are there any hazards to watch for?

When bike lanes are covered in snow, cyclists will have to share lanes with vehicles. For this reason, drivers must be on the lookout for bicycles, as well as pedestrians, when there is snow or ice covering the bike lane or sidewalks.

Sadly, the winter weather poses a challenge to drivers. When drivers don't respond appropriately to the challenges, devastating accidents can occur. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorists who are injured in an accident do have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault driver by going through the courts.

Source: District Snow Team, "Snow Safety Tips" Nov. 17, 2014

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