With winter’s arrival, Indiana drivers should not have to be reminded of the hazards that come when driving on icy, snowy and slick roads. But some drivers do need such a reminder when considering adding windy conditions and road hazards caused by nervous and aggressive drivers.
For further prompting, consider this. For 2022, Indiana ranks as among the country’s 15 most dangerous states to drive during winter when roads contain blowing snow, snow, sleet and freezing drizzle, according to an updated study by personal finance website MoneyGeek.
A No. 13 ranking
Indiana’s No. 13 ranking was the same as last year’s findings from MoneyGeek, which based its findings on 2018-2020 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
Neighboring states Michigan ranked first, Ohio placed fourth and Illinois at eighth.
During that three-year period, Indiana recorded 61 winter driving fatalities. That ranked as the sixth-most winter driving deaths after Michigan (146), Ohio (100), Pennsylvania (84), Illinois (73) and Wisconsin (62).
Five safe driving winter driving habits
What can you do to minimize your chances of getting into a winter road accident? Here are a few things to consider:
- Drive slowly and cautiously: With precarious roads, drivers must not be in a haste. Consider the conditions, too. Driving even the speed limit may lead to spinouts and crashes.
- Keep a safe traveling distance: Give yourself extra space between your car and the vehicle traveling in front of you. Doing so provides you with a greater stopping distance. Remember, the combination of icy roads and braking could lead to a crash.
- Know how to brake: Standard brakes require pumping to avoid skids. With anti-lock brakes, drivers press and hold without having to pump the brakes.
- Take great care with steering: It is best to not make any abrupt maneuvers and turns. And do not rely on cruise control during winter driving.
- Subscribe to slower acceleration and deceleration methods: Doing so allows you to regain traction while decreasing the chances of skidding.
Despite taking safety and common-sense precautions, drivers also must be on the alert for reckless, aggressive and unsafe drivers who ignore these very same precautions.
Stay safe on state roads
No matter what season, hazards exist on Indiana roads. Negligent drivers simply add to the problem, especially in winter when a collision may lead to severe and life-changing injuries. Stay safe on state roads.