Driving on snow-covered roads is much more dangerous than driving in clear conditions. This is why you need to know what you can do to lower your risk of a crash when driving in snow.
The Cincinnati car accident attorneys of O’Connor, Acciani & Levy have compiled a list of tips to help you stay safe when driving in snow. If you were injured in a crash in snowy conditions, contact us for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your case and learn what legal options may be available. If another driver is liable for your winter accident, you could be entitled to compensation.
1. Vehicle Preparedness
You should take steps to prepare your car for winter weather. For example, install winter tires that give your vehicle better traction and braking over snow and ice.
You should also check your tire pressure periodically throughout the winter to ensure your tires are properly inflated. This will help give your tires better traction and make your car easier to handle.
Other tips for preparing your vehicle for winter include:
- Using wiper fluid with antifreeze
- Adding antifreeze to the vehicle
- Replacing your wiper blades
- Inspecting the battery
2. Plan Ahead
Before you drive, check road and weather conditions to give yourself an idea of the hazards you will face. Knowing road conditions will allow you to add time to your trip and create alternate routes to avoid dangerous weather.
You should expect there to be ice on the road if temperatures are below freezing. Make sure to drive cautiously near and over bridges and other places where ice often accumulates.
3. Clear Snow And Ice From Your Vehicle
Remove snow and ice from your vehicle before driving it to improve your visibility. Clear snow and ice from all windows, windshields and mirrors, as well as the hood, trunk and roof. Doing this before you hit the road reduces the risk of throwing snow or ice onto other cars, which can reduce their visibility and increase the chances of them hitting your car.
4. Slow Down
The speed limit is meant for optimal weather, not snowy conditions. That means when you see snow, you need to slow down. Skidding is an indicator you are going too fast for the weather.
When you accelerate in snowy conditions, make sure to do so gradually to reduce the risk of losing control of your vehicle.
Do not use cruise control when driving in snowy conditions. You need to have complete control over the vehicle to react properly. When cruise control is on, your vehicle will continue to accelerate through skids, making them much more dangerous.
5. Give Yourself More Space
Your vehicle needs more time and space to slow down on snow and ice because you have less traction. That is why you should put more space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. A distance of at least six seconds is a good rule of thumb, but if conditions are severe you should add more time to that.
6. Avoid Distracted Driving
When road conditions are poor, you need all your attention on driving. Put away cellphones and other distractions and limit conversations.
Distracted driving is always extremely dangerous and puts you at increased risk of a crash. However, distracted driving is even more dangerous with snow and ice on the roads.
7. Use Turn Signals
Show other drivers your intended movements by always using your turn signals. Your signals tell other motorists that you will be slowing down, coming to a stop or changing lanes so they can react appropriately to avoid accidents.
Make sure to activate your signals early enough so other drivers have time to react. Flipping on a signal right before a turn could cause a crash because the car behind you may not have enough time to slow down.
8. No Sudden Movements
Snow and ice on the road can turn sudden movements into serious accidents, as vehicles do not react the same way as they do when roads are clear. Steady, deliberate movements should be made to avoid jerking or skidding. Accelerate and decelerate slowly instead of slamming on the gas or brake.
9. Skid Recovery
Stay calm if you start to skid due to sudden braking or slippery road conditions. Know what type of braking system you have and how to use it properly to recover from a skid.
- Antilock brake systems should be pressed firmly in a skid.
- Other braking systems should be pumped gently in a skid.
If your vehicle begins to spin, turn your steering wheel into the spin to help control your vehicle. Only use your brakes in a skid if it is necessary. Otherwise, try to ride it out and regain control.
Contact Us To Discuss Legal Options After A Crash
If you were injured in a winter car accident, the Cincinnati personal injury lawyers of O’Connor, Aciani & Levy can review your situation and inform you of your legal options. If you have a case, we will work to support your claim and maximize compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Request a free, no obligation consultation now and speak with our legal team. There are no upfront fees when working with us, and legal fees are only collected if we recover compensation for you.