The number of auto accidents significantly increase during the winter months due to the hazardous conditions brought by winter weather. It is important to take extra precautions during the winter months for the safety of both yourself and others on the road.
Tips for Safe Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving safely in the winter starts before you even get on the road. Regular maintenance and tune-ups important for year-round safe driving but are also important for when the temperature starts to drop. Winter weather can take a toll on car batteries, wipers, coolant, tires, and other systems.
Further precautions must be taken once you have left your driveway. Here are some tips for on the road:
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up. Plus, you never know how long you may be stuck in additional traffic due to weather conditions.
- Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface.
- Increase your distance when driving behind another vehicle.
- Decrease driving speed and avoid frequent stopping, especially when going up a hill.
- Opt to stay home. If you have the option of going out or staying in, stay in or wait till the hazardous road conditions subside.
How Weather Impacts Liability
Drivers still have the duty to drive safely during road conditions that are affected by inclement weather. Although the risk increases when going out on the road during hazardous weather conditions, so does the duty of the driver to use due care. If you are involved in an accident due to snow, ice, or slippery roads, take the same measures following the accident that you would on a sunny day: exchange contact and insurance information, take photographs, call the police, and seek medical attention immediately depending on the severity of the accident.