Traveling by car this winter? Winter weather can create dangerous driving conditions for even the most experienced drivers. However, preventing winter accidents can be as easy as taking a few simple steps. Use the following winter driving tips to help you stay safe on the roads this winter.
Preventing Winter Car Accidents
The best way to prevent winter car accidents altogether is to not venture out onto icy roads. During the winter, snow and ice create risky conditions, which increases the number of car accidents. Only travel if you absolutely have to.
Know the Roads
If you have to drive, you should always check the weather and road conditions before driving. It’s best to stay off the roads if you see a snowstorm or risky weather conditions in the forecast. But, sometimes you have to hit the road. With the correct preparation, you can protect yourself from an auto accident this winter. Here are safety tips to keep you and your family safe.
Preventing winter accidents starts with making sure your car is in good condition. Getting the right maintenance done will help your car respond properly in dangerous conditions. You should have your car inspected by your mechanic before traveling in the ice and snow. Your mechanic will help you use a preventative maintenance plan to take care of your car. This plan will include making sure your windshield wipers are working properly as well as your lights. Winter tires are another good option that your mechanic may recommend.
All fluids, defrosters, heaters, and most importantly, your battery, will be checked to ensure your vehicle is up to date on maintenance. You should keep your gas tank full to prevent your fuel line from freezing. You should also keep an emergency supply kit in your car that includes blankets, extra clothing such as winter hats, gloves, and socks, high-energy snacks, bottles of water, a flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables, and a first-aid kit.
Check Your Tires
You will need to check to make sure you have the correct tires on your vehicle for winter weather. Your car should have proper tire pressure and have enough tread for mud and snow. If you live in an area with heavy winter snowfall, you may want to put snow tires on your car. Also, check to make sure your brakes are working and that you have anti-lock brakes. Most newer vehicles have anti-lock brakes. If you are unsure, check your car manual or ask your mechanic.
Many car accidents that happen in the winter are due to skids. Skids occur when your car slides without tire rotation. This usually happens when you press hard on your brake pedal. You can avoid a skid by slowing down on icy roads and by not slamming on your brakes when you hit the ice. If you find yourself going too fast on slippery roads, gently pump your brakes. Make sure to keep both hands on the wheel and focus on where you want your car to go.
Winter conditions can cut your visibility down significantly. You should always take the extra time to clear off ice and snow from your windshield and lights. Do not start driving until you have completely defrosted your windshield and only drive when you can see the road ahead of you. If visibility is severely limited due to a whiteout, pull off the road to a safe place and do not drive until conditions improve. Avoid pulling off onto the shoulder unless it is an absolute emergency. Limited visibility means other vehicles can’t see yours on the shoulder.
Speed is key when preventing winter accidents. Do not drive fast. It is important to drive slowly because tires tend to lose their grip on ice and snow. Because of this, braking and turning become more difficult. You should stay at least 10-12 seconds behind the driver in front of you.
Avoid Cruise Control
Cruise control should not be used during any kind of dangerous weather. Cruise control can be dangerous because it limits your control of your car, especially if your car falls into a skid. Your car will try its best to maintain its speed, which can lead to a high-impact collision.
It’s easy to collide with the cars in front of you during a snowstorm or other dangerous driving conditions. One way to avoid a collision is to leave plenty of room between you and the vehicles in front of you. Winter weather brings limited visibility and slower reaction times. Tailgating can easily be avoided.
Stay focused when driving and be sure to limit all possible distractions. Never use your phone while driving. You should only drive when you are fully alert and ready for any possible hazards.
If You Have Been Involved in an Accident
Remain calm. Call for help if you or anyone has been injured. Make a record. Take down any information you think you may need. Take photos of the damage to the vehicles involved, even tracks. Contact your insurance provider and let them know you have been involved in an accident.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Some winter accidents are unavoidable. If you have enough evidence to prove the other driver was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation. You could be eligible for medical bills, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. Working with a personal injury lawyer will ensure you are compensated for the maximum amount.
The Cochran Firm has years of experience with personal injury cases and claims. Our lawyers have extensive experience with personal injury law in many different practice areas. Let us represent you to ensure you get maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Don’t delay if you have had an accident in bad weather. Call us today at 1-800-THE-FIRM, or you can visit us at www.cochranfirm.com/contact-us for a FREE confidential case evaluation.