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Twenty-three percent of car accidents are weather related

As the weather changes, Ohio residents may be taking the regular precautions to protect themselves against rain, sleet and winds and, in some places, even snow. While they button up their jackets and pull out umbrellas, they should also start wondering about the precautions they are going to take against the weather while they are driving.

Nearly 23 percent of all traffic accidents every year are related to the weather. This means car accidents that take place in adverse weather such as rain, snow, sleet and severe crosswinds. These conditions affect not only the road, but also driver's operational skills. For example, precipitation reduces a driver's visibility and affects their control over their vehicle. Since the road is wet or slippery, it may take longer for the car to respond to the brake. In addition to this, traffic delays may cause time delays for people, causing them to try to drive faster, further increasing the risk of slipping and sliding on the road.

Weather conditions are out of an Ohio resident's control, but the way they respond to adverse weather is very much in their control. Driving slower, adhering not only to traffic regulations but also changing road conditions and remaining aware of one's surroundings are all driving tactics to adopt. Once on the road, a driver is not only responsible for themselves, but also those around them-not braking on time or taking into account braking distance affects many cars around the initial driver.

Despite precautions and warnings, thousands of accidents take place across the state yearly and many of them are caused by someone else's negligence. In those situations, though it is not possible to assess the loss a person feels when they lose a loved one, they may be able to hold the negligent party accountable and receive some compensation for dealing with the practicalities of their loss, such as medical or funeral expenses.

Source: US Department of Transportation, "How Do Weather Events Impact Roads?," Accessed on Dec. 1, 2015

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