How Ice and Snow Increase Car Accident Risk

How Ice and Snow Increase Car Accident Risk
Calendar icon December 7, 2023
How Ice and Snow Increase Car Accident Risk


  • Winter weather, particularly snow and ice, increases the risk of car accidents in New York.
  • Snowy conditions impair drivers’ ability to see. This is particularly dangerous given the number of drivers on the road who are unaware of how to operate in the snow safely.
  • Icy roads reduce traction, making vehicles prone to sliding, spinning out of control, and being unable to brake successfully to avert collisions.
  • As snow amasses, it may stall vehicles and force debris into the path of traffic, heightening the risk of winter car accidents.

New York weather can prove unpredictable, but storms producing significant snow and ice are often a feature of the winter season. This creates dangerous circumstances for drivers, even if they are only traveling a short distance. Snow and icy roads work against a driver’s ability to determine safe maneuvers and their car’s ability to respond, leading to a greater car accident risk for all travelers.

Unfortunately, not all drivers take appropriate caution to avoid collisions in the snow. This negligence can lead to car accidents with serious injuries. As New York personal injury attorneys, our team at Cellino Law knows the costs of a winter car accident all too well. Schedule a free consultation by calling (888) 888-8888 or completing our online contact form

Winter Weather Creates Low Visibility Conditions For Drivers

If drivers can’t see clearly, the risk of a car accident increases exponentially. During the winter, reduced visibility is common as falling snow forms a barrier between the driver and the road. Snow can prevent New York drivers from identifying lane lines, anticipating traffic light changes, leaving enough space behind the vehicle in front of them, and making critical choices that avoid collisions.

Drivers Who Don’t Know How to Drive in the Snow Can Increase Car Accident Risk 

While many native New Yorkers may be familiar with the safest methods for navigating snowy conditions or icy roads, the state attracts millions of tourists each winter who may be less likely to have experience driving in the snow. Even New York residents who do not typically drive may decide to rent a car to travel for the winter holidays.

As a result, there may be a significant number of drivers who do not recognize that they need to slow their speed significantly, allow extra distance between vehicles, avoid slamming on the brakes, and take other precautions to avoid a collision. This can endanger not only inexperienced winter drivers and their passengers but also their fellow road users.

Slick Roads are More Conducive to Winter Car Accidents in New York

One of the greatest challenges for any driver trying to navigate an icy road is the lack of traction. When a road is iced over, a vehicle’s tire tread struggles to grip the smooth surface. Without this friction, cars are much more likely to slide, so the risk of a car accident is higher. Drivers may be unable to break successfully, drift out of their lane, or spin out of control when attempting to turn.

Car Accident Risk Grows When Roads Are Obstructed

Heavy or ongoing snowfall can accumulate quickly. Vehicles with lower clearance are susceptible to stalling in these weather conditions because their tires are unable to make headway against the snow. If nearby drivers don’t realize a vehicle has become trapped in the snow, they may operate on the assumption that the stalled car will move, leading to a collision.

Snow is also capable of downing powerlines and trees, littering the road with debris. As drivers attempt to go around the obstacles, they may struggle to maintain control over their car or run into the debris directly. 

Winter Weather Conditions Can Cause Drivers to Become Stressed or Distracted

In addition to impairing a car’s ability to execute maneuvers, snow, and ice may negatively influence driver behavior. Even experienced drivers find it challenging to simultaneously concentrate on their route, speed, and distance from other vehicles while the snow compromises their visibility and the way their car handles.

This can lead a driver to grow anxious that they are going to lose control of their car or that another driver will hit them, which can cause them to overcorrect or make other careless mistakes. With the number of things competing for a driver’s attention on a snowy road, distracted driving is also relatively common in adverse weather conditions, though no less dangerous.

Why You Should Choose Cellino Law to Represent Your Car Accident Claim

Your car accident injuries may have wrecked your budget, harmed your health, and compromised your quality of life. At Cellino Law, we understand what is at stake in your New York car accident claim, and we will relentlessly seek fair compensation for your damages, as we have done for countless other satisfied clients

We are proud of our record of achieving excellent results for injured New Yorkers, as we believe it is a reflection of our expertise and dedication. If you have been injured by another driver’s reckless behavior in a winter car accident, we can provide unparalleled legal support for your claim.

Contact Cellino Law For Help With Your New York Winter Car Accident Lawsuit

A winter car accident can disrupt your holiday plans and interfere with your goals for the upcoming year. Our team of skilled negotiators at Cellino Law can help you get back on track by advocating for the financial compensation you deserve. We have six decades of experience as personal injury attorneys, an unrivaled work ethic, and a steadfast commitment to our clients.

You can reach out to our team of New York car accident attorneys to schedule a free consultation by calling (888) 888-8888 or filling out our online contact form. We will carefully review your case to determine its eligibility and value, outline the steps of the personal injury claims process, and take the time to answer any questions you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon should I file an auto accident claim after being injured in a winter car accident?

If you were injured by another driver’s negligence in a New York car accident, you need to file your personal injury claim within three years of the day you sustained your injuries. While you may decide to postpone initiating the personal injury claim process until after the holidays, make sure you allow enough time to find a qualified attorney and gather the necessary paperwork to file your claim.

What is black ice, and is it dangerous?

People who have experience driving in cold climates will be familiar with the threat of black ice. It refers to a patch of ice that is so thin it appears transparent, making it significantly more difficult for drivers to anticipate. As a result, drivers may not slow down to accommodate for the lack of traction created by the black ice and quickly lose control of their vehicle.

What does it cost to hire a winter car accident lawyer in New York?

After being injured in a winter car accident, many survivors and their families struggle with the financial burden of medical costs, lost wages, and other losses. Hiring a New York car accident lawyer is designed not to be a cost-prohibitive process because it is understood that plaintiffs are already operating from a financial disadvantage. 

Personal injury attorneys recover contingency fees instead of charging an hourly rate. A contingency fee is about 33% of the settlement that is allocated to the car accident lawyer at the conclusion of the personal injury claims process. Plaintiffs are not obligated to repay their personal injury attorney if they do not settle their claim.

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.



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