ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It’s been a mild winter so far… until this week. And although the forecast calls for a brief warm-up, you know the flakes will be falling again soon.
The appetizer of frigid temperatures, snow and slush reminded drivers of the hazards on the roads during winter. Most motorists take simple precautions – like packing an ice scraper and a blanket in their vehicles – but many ignore what is considered one of the safest winter precautions: a clean car.
A Rochester car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes says a car wash can keep vehicles running at peak performance and it can even prevent a crash.
“Street crews use road salt to give cars better traction during winter weather in Rochester,” car accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “But road salts can eat away at your car – in some cases, salt has destroyed brake lines.”
Several vehicles are currently under a voluntary recall due to the risk of corroding brake lines, often caused by exposure to winter road treatments.
Experts suggest washing the underside of a car at least once a week during the winter.
According to a study published by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, road treatments are reasonably safe for vehicles as long as owners commit to a proper maintenance schedule, which includes frequent washes.
“Vehicle washing is the best defense to reduce and prevent corrosion, and the public should be educated on the need to wash vehicles, including the undercarriage,” researchers wrote.
The analysis was drafted in response to a 2014 law that sparked a study of the effects of statewide road treatments on cars, highways and the environment. Researchers determined that states should continue treatment of roadways because there is no safer or financially reasonable alternative.
Although salt can be corrosive to a vehicle, it is much more dangerous for road crews to skip street and highway treatments.
“Even treated roadways can be dangerous during winter weather but they are still much safer than roads left untreated,” Cellino said. “Vehicle crashes have decreased by more than 33-percent during the winter since most states began using a salt mixture.”
Salt can also minimize your risk of a slip and fall lawsuit. Most of the nation’s road salt supply is used by private contractors and business owners who treat parking lots, driveways and sidewalks with salt to prevent an accident on their properties.
Rochester car accident lawyers say salt can be considered a necessary evil – but with proper care and maintenance of your vehicle, road mixtures can minimize skidding and possibly avoid an accident.