With winter upon us, many areas across the United States will experience winter weather events that create potentially hazardous conditions for drivers on the roadways. Depending on the severity of the winter storm, the safest option would be to stay home until conditions are clear enough to drive – but under certain circumstances you may have to drive in snowy or icy conditions. As explained by our friends at Ward & Ward Law Firm, If you are unaccustomed to driving in the snow, a bit of prior preparation can help avoid a dangerous accident situation.
Join us today as we share useful tips for driving in the snow and present other relevant points to consider if you are involved in an accident where winter weather was a contributing factor.
Utilize your car’s traction control features and gears.
Cars with all wheel drive and 4 wheel drive are ideal for driving in snow. If your car is two wheel drive, drive slowly in a lower gear. Driving in a lower gear will help lessen your dependence on brakes which can cause your car to slide unpredictably.
Maneuver your vehicle very smoothly.
When it comes to driving in the slow you must drive much slower than you would in normal conditions. Rapid changes in steering, acceleration or braking can cause your vehicle to slide off course, into potential danger. By going slow, and making smooth and controlled steering adjustments, you can avoid sliding off course.
Look as far ahead as possible.
By looking far ahead, you can plan accordingly. For example, if there is a curve at the bottom of a hill, you will want to descend as slowly and controlled as possible so as to enter the curve at a speed that won’t cause you to slide off course. Using a lower gear will help limit the speed of your vehicle when descending a hill without depending solely on your car’s brakes. Keep your eyes on course, in the direction you intend to travel at all times.
Monitor dashboard & instrumentation closely.
Many modern cars will have lights on the instrument panel that indicate a loss of traction. If you notice a blinking orange or yellow light on the instrument panel that has squiggly lines under a car or tire icon, you may be losing traction, which is to be expected when driving in snow. If possible, ease off the accelerator to allow your tires to regain traction.
Skids and slips will happen, don’t overreact.
You will inevitably slip and slip when driving in the snow. You must be prepared for the sensation of your car sliding, which can be frightening if you are not familiar with it. When your car begins to slide, do your best to make smooth and controlled adjustments to steering and gas. If you react too suddenly by slamming on brakes or jerking your steering wheel, you may worsen the slide.
Winter Weather Car Accidents
If you do happen to be injured in an accident where winter weather was a contributing factor, consider consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will be able to provide specific advice regarding the best course of action for your specific situation.