Driving in snow and ice can be a nerve-racking experience. Did you know that 24 percent of weather-related car crashes happen when there’s snow and ice on the roads? Unfortunately, this accounts for 76,000 injures annually.
Chances are you live in an area where this is an issue because 70 percent of US roads are located in snowy regions. Any auto accident attorney Spokane office will tell you that this is a common problem for many Washinton drivers.
Do you know what to do and not do when driving on snow and ice? The following guide will give you tips on what to do when driving in dangerous weather-related road conditions to keep you safe.
Slow Down and Don’t Tailgate
Slow down even if you’re a skilled driver and you’re used to snowy conditions. It’s recommended to drive half of your regular speed on snow-covered roads and slow to a crawl on ice.
Always prepare for black ice even if roads appear clear. Just because you can’t see the ice doesn’t mean it’s not there.
While it’s never a good idea to tailgate, this is especially true when there’s snow and ice. Allow a minimum of 8 to 10 seconds to stop between you and the car in front of you. The more distance the better.
Try Not to Panic
Staying calm when you feel your car skid is crucial to avoiding auto accidents. Remember that less is more in a situation like this.
Do not accelerate, brake, or make any quick movements. Instead, lift your foot completely off the gas and steer your vehicle in the direction you want to it go. This will allow your tires to regain their traction.
Be as Prepared as Possible
Make sure your vehicle has the necessary fluids, optimal brakes, inflated tires, and at least a half tank of gas. Also, try to remove any excess snow and ice from your car before hitting the road.
Keep an ice scraper, shovel, jumper cables, and any other items that can help with snow and ice removal in your vehicle. It’s also a good idea to keep gloves and a blanket in your car at all times during cold months.
Watch for Hazards
Keep an eye out for other drivers using their hazard lights or flashing their headlights. Also, don’t forget to use your own headlights to increase visibility.
Remember that bridges and underpasses tend to have more ice than other roads and often freeze first. This is because they’re more exposed to cold air.
Make sure not to watch for snowplows and don’t get too close. Have patience and don’t pass because the road in front of the plow may not be cleared at all yet.
Now You’re Prepared for Snow and Ice
Follow the tips from the guide and keep yourself safe this winter. Remember to prepare before setting out on the road, drive slow, watch for hazards, and stay calm if you start to slide.
Please contact us if you have more questions about safe driving in snow and ice or need a personal injury lawyer. Safe travels!