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Drive carefully to avoid accidents this winter

As the weather changes and Ohio residents expect to see more rain, sleet and snow, they should be sure to adjust their driving depending on the weather. Though speeding, drunken driving and fatigue are common causes of fatal car accidents, weather is also one of the top causes for crashes across the country. A weather-related crash is one that occurs in adverse weather, including snow, fog, rain, or even a slick piece of pavement.

According to stark statistics revealed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is an accident somewhere in the country every 10 seconds, and an average driver gets into an accident once every 10 years. Of these car accidents, around a quarter result in injury and one percent result in death. Though one percent may sound low, this amounts to about 30,000 deaths related to car accidents every year.

The deadliest weather hazard is driving, with more than 7,000 drivers dying in weather related crashes a year. Even though cars are increasingly automated with more safety features installed in them, car accidents are still the leading cause of death for young adults.

Since cars are prone to sliding in winter weather, Ohio drivers should remember to drive slowly and leave more space than usual between cars-the Weather Channel claims that drivers should leave three times more space than usual. Drivers should also brake gently and in case their wheels lock up, they should ease off the brake.

Driving carefully is a good way to avoid accidents year-round, not only in the winter. Staying alert on the road can save not only the driver's life, but also the lives of other drivers sharing the roadway.

Source: USA Today, "Northeastern cities have the most car accidents," Doyle Rice, Nov. 11, 2014

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