Though accidents can always happen, there are some things we can do to lessen the odds. Here are some tips on driving safely in the winter:
Check Weather Conditions
It’s best to know what you’re getting into before you get into it! Check your local news, or use a handy weather app.
It’s the oldest and most effective trick in the book. Just slow down! It takes a lot longer to get to your destination if you end up in the ditch (or worse) on the way there. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association advises to slow your speed by half in snowy conditions.
Keep A Safe Distance
If you think you’re far enough away from the car in front of you, think again. Driving educators at I Drive Safely advise that while the normal following distance rule is 3 to 4 seconds during normal conditions, the rule changes to 8 to 10 seconds during winter weather. This still applies if you’re following the snow plow. Give them some room – they need space, too.
Pack An Emergency Kit
Always be prepared for the worst. Be sure to pack water, blankets, flashlights, an ice scraper/snow shovel, litter or gravel in case you get stuck, and it’s always good to have booster cables. Snacks aren’t a bad idea, either.
Bring Your Phone
This might seem like a no-brainer, but some days it’s nice to escape our cellphones. The day it snows and you have to drive in it is not the day! Having a way to contact help in the event of an accident is invaluable.
Winterize Your Vehicle
If you’ve got winter tires, it’s time to switch. Traction can make or break your winter travel, and in snowy and icy conditions, more traction is the way to go. Keep on top of tire pressure and make sure you’ve always got at least a half tank of gas. Install winter wiper blades and de-icing windshield fluid.
If You Can, Just Stay Home
Of course, if possible, don’t venture out in inclement at all. Better safe than sorry applies here – if it doesn’t seem like a good idea to drive, it probably isn’t. As the lawyers at Smith Mohlman LLC can advise, more often than not, accidents happen when you don’t even need to be driving.
Of course, if an accident does happen, you may be in need of a car accident attorney. Though we do our best to avoid accidents, sometimes they still happen. If you have questions about a situation that happened to you, be sure to contact a lawyer in your area.