According to the Federal Highway Administration, weather conditions play a role in 25% of auto accidents on U.S. roadways each year. Prominent among them are winter’s snow, sleet, and ice.
Drivers should allow greater following distances and drive more slowly in wintry conditions—which doesn’t always happen. Some people are overconfident because they have all-wheel- or four-wheel-drive vehicle. These vehicles improve acceleration in snow, but they don’t shorten stopping distance or help with ice. Also be mindful that a driver can be traveling under the speed limit but still be driving too fast for conditions.
Beware of black ice, which blends in with the roadway. It might also be hiding beneath a coating of snow or in the shade. Ice forms more quickly on bridges and overpasses because they lose heat from both sides, top and bottom.
If venturing out into the snow, clear your entire windshield and side and back windows to improve visibility—not just a few small patches—and turn on your lights. Remove snow accumulation from the roof, hood, and trunk. In some states it’s the law. Flying snow can obscure the vision of a driver behind you or become a deadly projectile.
If you fishtail, don’t panic. Steer in the direction of the skid. Take your foot off the gas. Apply steady pressure to anti-lock brakes. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, lightly pump your brakes.
Remember, winter weather does not absolve drivers of fault in auto accidents. Drivers have a duty to drive responsibly and safely, no matter what the conditions.
If you are injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, contact us right away for a free consultation.
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