Each year, there are over 156,000 automobile accidents due to icy and slushy roads and winter conditions. Even if you’re a veteran driver, winter weather can bring about challenging driving conditions. It affects both traction and visibility, which can lead to severely dangerous winter driving.
Therefore, it’s more important than ever to drive carefully and stay vigilant during this season. Check out some of our safety tips below.
1. Keep an Eye Out for Black Ice
They say one of the Devil’s greatest tricks is convincing the world he didn’t exist. The same can be said of black ice.
Black ice is clear ice (black because it’s on the asphalt) that is seemingly invisible to the untrained eye. If you’re perceptive, you can see a certain sheen coming off the road in areas with black ice. However, wrongfully assuming the road is clear is one of the biggest causes of winter driving accidents.
2. Try Not to Slam on the Brakes
Next, when the roads are slick, you’ll want to avoid hitting the brakes too hard. Doing so will result in sliding and possibly losing control. Your car may even start to drift sideways or out of its lane.
Additionally, you never want to force the drivers behind you to react suddenly or slam on their breaks. You can’t control if they’re following you too closely, but you can control how aggressively you use your brakes.
3. Don’t Follow Too Closely
Speaking of following too closely, avoid doing it to other drivers. If a car or animal jumped out in front of them, there’s little chance either of you will stop in time. If you’re following too closely, a simple collision could turn into a multiple car pileup.
4. Accelerate Slowly
As mentioned above, winter driving means less traction, regardless of your tires or vehicle. To avoid losing control on ice and slush, make sure you accelerate slowly, especially at stoplights, stop signs, and on hills.
Accelerating aggressively will make your tire spin out, and won’t get you anywhere faster.
5. Know Your Car
Next, avoid getting a false sense of security in your vehicle, even if it’s four-wheel-drive or has snow tires. A huge number of vehicles that get stuck or slide off the road are SUVs and trucks with over-confident drivers.
Winter driving requires caution, regardless of your skill or quality of the vehicle.
6. Make Sure Have Adequate Tires
Finally, a good way to ensure your safety while driving in winter conditions is to make sure you have the best tires for the conditions. You don’t necessarily need tires with studs in them, but a quality winter tire is ideal for the conditions of the road.
Just make sure you change them out in the spring so you get a few years of winter driving out of them.
Have You Been in a Winter Driving Accident?
If you’ve been in a winter driving accident and need a personal injury lawyer, contact us today. We specialize in getting people the compensation they deserve after experiencing personal injuries from vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, and everything in between.