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Lower Gas Prices Could Make for Safer Winter Driving

Across the country, gasoline prices have been falling, and economists predict that trend may last throughout the winter of 2014-2015. This means that most Wisconsin residents will have some extra cash for holiday shopping, but it may also mean they’ll be safer on the roads this winter.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles, fatal traffic accidents drop during the winter months, but the number of property damage crashes increases. Serious injury crashes are slightly less in the winter months as well. This contraction is likely due to a number of factors:

  • In summer, Wisconsin motorists drive many more miles and at higher speeds, two conditions which make serious injury and fatal crashes more likely.
  • In winter, Wisconsin motorists drive more slowly in conditions, such as snow and ice, where control of the vehicle becomes more difficult.
  • Days are shorter from October through January, reducing visibility.

So, although you have less of a chance of being seriously injured in a winter crash, you have a greater chance of damaging your car. And since your personal safety is paramount, you should be concerned with ways to prevent a property damage crash from becoming an injury crash. But how is that related to the price of gas?

Two popular winter driving safety tips are:

  • Keep a full tank of gas
  • Keep added weight in your truck near the rear axle

The first tip is important, because if your car is disabled, you need your engine running to keep you warm. Otherwise, you could develop frost bite or hypothermia. A full tank of gas will allow you to keep warm until help arrives. (If you’re using your engine to keep warm, make sure that your tail pipe has clearance through the snow, to prevent carbon monoxide from backing up into your car’s cabin.)

A full tank of gas also weighs your car down more, giving you additional traction on snow and ice.

Now that the cost of fuel has gone down, it will be easier to keep your gas tank topped off, which can enhance your safety while driving in rugged winter weather.

To learn more, contact a Milwaukee car accident lawyer today.