Believe it or not, winter is just around the corner. Regardless of how you feel about that, it’s important to recognize the impact that winter weather can have on driving conditions. Only those who are prepared take the appropriate safety measures can maximize their chances of avoiding a winter weather-related car accident.
But there are many treacherous factors that can contribute to a winter car accident. Here are just some of the winter perils that you need to be aware of and prepare for before cold weather hits:
- Icy roads: This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many people over-estimate their ability to drive on snowy and icy roads. That’s why icy roads are the number one hazard when it comes to winter driving. Sometimes drivers simply don’t recognize black ice or the fact that falling rain is freezing on the roadway. Other times drivers just think that they can confidently drive over it. Both situations are extremely dangerous. To avoid an accident on an icy road, drive slowly and assume that wet roads in cold weather are icy.
- Poor visibility: Snow, sleet, rain, and “kickup” from vehicles in front of you can all significantly reduce your visibility, especially when it’s dark outside. This means that you might be slow to hit the brakes, which can lead to a rear-end collision. You might even run a red light. Keep in mind that other drivers might be susceptible to these dangers, too. To best protect yourself, make sure that you’re leaving a significant distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, make sure your defroster works, drive more slowly when weather conditions require it, and remain attentive to your surroundings at all times.
- Tire issues: Tires help you grip the road. When they’re compromised, it can be hard for you to stop in a timely fashion or take a corner when it’s wet, snowy, or icy out. So, make sure that your tires are inflated to the correct pressure and that the treads on your tires aren’t too worn.
- Acting too quickly: One of the biggest winter weather driving dangers is individual motorists. Since most people don’t drive in dangerous road conditions on a regular basis, most of them don’t know how to drive with the appropriate amount of caution. Far too often they brake or accelerate too quickly. This can lead to uncontrollable sliding, which can prove treacherous not only for that driver, but also for anyone else nearby.
- Low fuel level: If you have less than a quarter tank of gas in the winter months, then you might be putting yourself at risk. If you’re involved in an accident or become stuck, you could quickly run out of gas. This means that you could be left stranded without heat. So, fuel up and make sure that you’re packing emergency supplies, including a blanket.
Don’t leave yourself at risk
Winter driving can be extremely dangerous. But you don’t have to leave yourself in harm’s way. Instead, you can diligently prepare yourself so that you can take the safety precautions that are necessary to protect yourself.
If you find yourself involved in a winter car accident, just remember that you may need to take legal action, too. After all, it can be hard to determine how these accidents were caused but doing so could be imperative to your ability to recover the compensation that you need and deserve. So, after one of these wrecks, make sure that you’re taking pictures, not saying too much, and gathering witness statements. Hopefully then you can position yourself to obtain a favorable outcome.