California has a Mediterranean-like climate, with mild winters. Compared to a number of other states, California has some of the safest road conditions during the winter. For northern and eastern states, winter DUIs are especially dangerous considering the fog, snow, low visibility, blizzard conditions, and ice on the roads in states that experience ice and heavy snowfall. These dangerous conditions combined with the dangers of alcohol intoxication can easily result in increased accidents and fatalities during the wintertime.
While Southern California does not usually experience significant weather changes (unless the area is in the mountains), there are still winter considerations that must be addressed when talking about the dangers of drunk driving.
How California Drivers Are Affected by Winter Weather
Several years ago, some towns in Orange County experienced a dusting of snowfall resulting from unusually cold weather and precipitation. While this is extremely rare, drivers that have never experienced this type of weather should be extra cautious when operating their vehicles.
Wintertime considerations for OC drivers:
- California drivers who are not experienced driving in low visibility conditions, rain, and fog.
- Slick roadways and lowered visibility associated with increased rainfall or fog.
- Increase in traffic, jams, and accidents on regular roadways due to fog and rain.
- Compact cars and sedans that are unequipped for rainfall or wintery conditions.
- Increased distractions as drivers multi-task to get things completed before dark.
While many of these may not seem dangerous, when combined with alcohol, they can be fatal. For example, a driver zipping through their usual traffic route after drinking may not pay attention to increased traffic, or they may not know how to handle their car when they slide on a slick freeway during a rainstorm.
Different seasons mean drivers must react accordingly. While most Southern California cities do not experience severe weather changes the way nearby places, such as the Angeles National Forest, Oregon or Southern Utah do, there are still many things that drivers need to be careful of when behind the wheel of their car during this time of year, namely fog, rain and extra traffic.
Also, it's important to note that law enforcement is often on high alert for impaired drivers during the holidays, especially between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Need an Orange County DUI defense attorney? Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.for a free case evaluation with the DUI Queen!