Winter driving in the Northeast can be challenging and dangerous! With winters that leave our roads slick with ice, snow and slush, let’s take a moment to refresh our memories on how to avoid bad winter drivers and be prepared in the event of an accident.
Winter Driving Tips
Here are a few tips to help you stay safe and avoid winter drivingÂ hazards when the roadways are covered in snow and ice this winter.
Clear Snow and Ice Off Your Car Completely
No matter how far you’re planning to drive, it is absolutely imperative that you clear all of the snow and ice off of your car. You don’t want snow or ice blocking your vision, or blowing off the top or front of the car while you’re on the road. This can be hazardous to you, and to other drivers.
DriveÂ At or Below the Speed Limit
Snowy, wet weatherÂ in the winter can cause the roads to be extra treacherous. As a result, it is especially dangerousÂ to drive faster than the speed limit. Depending on the conditions, it may even be appropriate to drive more slowly than the speed limit.
Turn Your Lights On
Visibility can be poor when it’s snowy. Turning your headlights on when you are driving in snow will help you to be better able to see your surroundings and the road, and will make you more visible to other drivers.
ComplyÂ with Caution Signs
Keep an eye out for warning signs and detours during the winter. Bad weather and cold temperatures can cause road conditions to change rapidly. For your safety, it is important to stay alert and comply with any caution signs or detours you encounter.
Be Extra Aware of Bridges
Remember – bridges and overpasses tend to freeze first. Even if other roadways seem fine, bridges may be frozen. In cold, snowy conditions, try to be especially alert as you may unexpectedly slide.
Do Not Slam on Your Brakes
When driving in the winter, slamming on your brakes can cause you toÂ lose control of your vehicle. If you sense that your car is losing traction with the roadway, pump the brakes to prevent them from locking up.
Leave Extra Room
Snowy, ice covered roadways can cause slipping and sliding when you brake. As a result, it’s important to leave extra room between your car and the car in front of you, and to brake early when approaching intersections, leaving yourself substantial room in case your are unable to stop as quickly as you expect to.
Keeping certain tools and equipment in your car can make all the difference in terms of keeping you safe and avoiding injury if you are involved in an accident when driving in winter weather. Useful items include blankets, shovels, sand, flares, phone chargers and food.
Know Who To Call
Keeping an easily accessible list ofÂ numbers for emergency services and, if necessary, an experienced personal injury attorney can be immensely helpful if you are involved in a car accident during the winter. This will help you to be more able to take immediate action to protect your interests if you or a loved one is injured.
Understand What To Do If You’re Involved in a Car Accident
While these winter driving tips are intended to help you avoid involvement in an accident, car crashes are still very common during the winter. Even if you are a careful, cautious driver, there’s no guarantee that you’ll avoid an accident. As a result, it’s important to be well prepared just in case you are involved in a car crash during the winter. Knowing what to do after a car accidentÂ can help you to ensure that your rights are protected if an accident on slippery roadways does occur.
Injured in a Winter Car Accident? The Attorneys at Maynard, O’Connor, Smith & Catalinotto Can Help.
We encourage you to drive safely this winter! But even if you take all the necessary precautions, there is still a chance that you could be injuredÂ in a car accident caused by a negligent driver this winter.
If you’ve been severely injured in a car accident in Albany, Johnstown, Saugerties, Amsterdam, Catskill, Gloversville, Hudson or anywhere throughout the Capital DistrictÂ and you feel you may have a personal injury claim, please call the experienced car accident attorneys atÂ Maynard, Oâ€™Connor, Smith & CatalinottoÂ for assistance. We can help you navigate the legal process and work to obtain the compensation you are entitled to.
For More Information About Safe Winter Driving…
Tips for Avoiding Weather-Related Winter HazardsÂ – Learn about a few dangerous winter driving hazards and how to avoid them when you’re on the roads this winter.
Car Accidents Caused by Sun Glare – With snow on the ground and wet, icy roadways, winter is one time of year when sun glare can be the worst. Learn how to protect yourself from sun glare while you’re driving.
Editor’s Note: This content was originally published in 2015, but has been updated as of December 2017.Â