Did you know over 70 percent of the nation’s roads are located in snowy regions? Severe winter weather, including snow, slush and ice, can be treacherous and scary for even the most experienced drivers. In fact, according to the US Department of Transportation, 116,800 injuries occur annually as a result of auto accidents caused by winter weather conditions.
When winter weather strikes, the best option is to stay put, and avoid traveling in potentially hazardous conditions whenever possible. But, if you must travel during these times, preparation is key. To keep your family safe this season, the auto accident law firm, Dale E. Anstine, is offering up the top five winter driving tips, including:
- Reduce Your Speed
- Give Extra Room Between Vehicles
- Be Careful on Bridges and Overpasses
- Use Caution on Hills
- Do Not Use Cruise Control
Tip #1: Reduce Your Speed
Remember, speed limits are designed with dry roads in mind, not those covered with snow and ice. By reducing your driving speed, you will give yourself more time to react and avoid an accident if the car ahead of you slides out of their lane on a slick spot or wheel rut.
Additionally, remember it takes more time to slow down on icy roads. When approaching a stop sign or red light, let off the gas and decelerate slowly. Do not slam on your brakes! Then, to start moving again, slowly accelerate to gain traction and avoid slipping and sliding.
Tip #2: Give Extra Room Between Vehicles
When road conditions are not ideal during the winter months, it is critical to leave extra room between you and the car in front of you to avoid collisions. Additionally, with the stress of the holiday season, people might be a little impatient with slower moving traffic and take unnecessary risks when passing other vehicles. Aggressive drivers are an unfortunate reality of traveling on public roads; give the ones you encounter lots of space.
Tip #3: Be Careful on Bridges and Overpasses
Bridges and overpasses are typically the first sections of any roadway to experience icing, so exercise caution when traveling on (or over) them.
If you can eliminate them from your intended route, do so – and give yourself extra time to arrive safely at your destination to avoid the temptation of driving at higher speeds.
Tip #4: Use Caution on Hills
Snow-covered and icy hills can pose challenges for drivers, so it is important to understand how to maneuver inclines and declines during the winter months. When going up or down a hill that is covered in snow, slush or ice, take your time and use extra caution.
Tip #5: Do Not Use Cruise Control
To ensure you have full control over your vehicle, do not use cruise control. It is best to be able to adjust your speed accordingly when traveling in winter weather.
We’re Here to Help
Snow, slush and ice can make your car behave unpredictably, so avoid any distractions that will divert your attention away from what is directly in front of your windshield. In addition to implementing the tips above, remember to not check your phone while driving; make sure your windows, mirrors and headlights are clear; and drive with your headlights on to improve visibility.
If you or a loved one are injured in a car accident as a result of someone else’s negligence in winter weather conditions, contact the specialized auto accident attorneys at Dale E. Anstine. With offices in York and Gettysburg, our team is available 24/7, consultations are always FREE, and there are no fees unless we win for you. Get a fighter on your side today!