When the winter weather turns, the rain and snow begin to fall, and the roads become treacherous, it’s easy for people to find themselves involved in a dangerous situation. All drivers need to ensure they’re taking the necessary steps to stay safe and prevent significant harm.
While defensive driving is imperative in any situation, there are additional things you can do when the winter weather hits. Unfortunately, many drivers put caution to the wind and feel as though they can drive as they please, even in the worst weather. This action puts you and countless others on the road in harm’s way.
Here are 10 things you can do to protect yourself on the road this winter:
Maintain your vehicle
Ensure your tires have the correct pressure
Buckle up in case of an accident
Drive safe for conditions
Take time to speed up or slow down
Remember the four-second rule
Stay away from cruise control
Know your driving plans
Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle
Below, we’ll provide more insight into these actions so you recognize how each of these can keep you safe on the road this winter.
Call our firm at (718) 690-3132 if you suffer an injury because of someone else’s actions.
1. Maintain Your Vehicle
Before you get behind the wheel, make sure your fluids are full. Be sure to check your brake fluid, antifreeze, gas, and more to ensure you don’t encounter any problems on the road. You should also check your brake pads to ensure they are not fading and they still work effectively.
2. Ensure Your Tires Have the Correct Pressure
Tire pressure is crucial to your safety. If your tire pressure is too low, you risk getting a flat tire on the road. If your tire pressure is too high, a blowout can occur, especially when you consider problems such as potholes and other obstructions on the road.
3. Buckle Up In Case of an Accident
You never know when negligence will arise, especially in bad weather conditions. Wearing your seatbelt reduces the risk of severe and fatal injuries in a car accident, so it’s always best to buckle up to ensure that you are as safe as possible if a crash does occur.
4. Drive Safe for Conditions
While you may rely on posted speed limits when driving in the clearest weather conditions, driving in rain and snow is much different. You must keep conditions in mind, even if it means driving slower than the speed limit, to ensure you avoid a crash.
5. Take Time to Speed Up or Slow Down
Know the amount of pressure you put on your brake or gas pedals when speeding up or slowing down. When you accelerate too quickly in rain or snow, it can cause your tires to hydroplane, and you may lose control. Similarly, trying to brake too quickly can cause you to lose traction, and a potential accident may occur.
6. Remember the Four-Second Rule
When you’re driving behind someone, consider the four-second rule in bad weather. It helps you stay safe if you drive at least four seconds behind the car in front of you, so you have enough time to brake should the need arise. If the weather is worse and visibility is low, you may want to extend this to six seconds or more, depending on the conditions.
7. Avoid Distractions
While you should avoid distractions whenever you are driving, it’s even more crucial to do so when rain or snow is falling. The slippery roads make it harder to stop quickly, so you may not stop in time when approaching traffic if you are texting or otherwise distracted.
8. Stay Away from Cruise Control
Cruise control is a convenient tool for anyone on the road, but it can be dangerous with bad weather. Cruise control means you are giving up your manual control of the gas and brake, and fast-approaching traffic can be severely dangerous.
9. Know Your Driving Plans
If you must drive in terrible weather conditions, make sure you are planning ahead. Check the weather, and if there’s a better time to drive, plan for that. Another thing you can do is choose a less dangerous route that is not nearly as susceptible to problems because of rain or snow.
10. Keep an Emergency Kit In Your Vehicle
If an accident does occur or you find yourself stranded on the road, you want to ensure you have an emergency kit available. In your emergency kit, you should have an ice scraper to clear your windshield. You also want to have a blanket in case you have to wait for help, road flares to ensure you are visible, a flashlight, and jumper cables.
While it may sound weird, you can also use something like kitty litter to improve traction on a slippery road where snow is causing you problems.
At Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices, we focus on helping injured parties seek the compensation they deserve. When negligence results in you sustaining a severe injury, make sure you know the best ways to protect your rights. We will be in your corner every step of the way, going above and beyond to give you peace of mind.
Trust in our New York car accident attorneys to be your voice against negligence. We know what it takes to win on your behalf.
Call our firm today at (718) 690-3132 and schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.