Motorists face many winter car accident risks, but ice is one of the most dangerous conditions in terms of increasing the chances an accident will happen.
Massachusetts Department of Transportation has many tips for motorists to stay safe during winter driving season, including clearing snow and ice from vehicles, paying attention at all times, and leaving plenty of room to stop a vehicle.
No matter how careful you are, however, there is always a chance you will hit a patch of ice. When you do, you need to make sure you know how to respond safely so you can reduce the chances of losing control of your car and hitting another object or individual.
How Can Boston Motorists Avoid Crash Risks While Driving on Ice?
Edmunds has some advice for motorists who find themselves operating their motor vehicles in icy conditions.
First and foremost, motorists should try to do whatever they can to avoid skidding on snowy roads. Drivers should listen to weather reports before heading out and should consider skipping non-essential trips during times when the weather is at its worst. If you must go somewhere, you should wait until a snowplow has gone through and cleared the roads.
Because you can’t stay home all winter, you need to make sure your car is ready in case you do need to go out when conditions are icy. In particular, the risk of car crashes caused by snow and ice can be significantly reduced by having the right tires on your vehicles.
Tires need to have at least 6/32-inch deep tread to have adequate traction when there is snow on the roads. Most winter tires have 3/32n of an inch of tread, but checking the actual tread on your tires becomes very important- especially after the tires have been used for a period of time. If you get winter tires, you should get a full rack of four because only putting winter tires on front wheels of a front-wheel drive car can actually increase the chances you will spin out and cause a car accident.
Despite good tires and best efforts at safety, skids may still happen when you hit a patch of ice. The best way to deal with the skid depends upon whether it is your front or your rear tires which are sliding.
If you feel your front tires beginning to skid, release the accelerator smoothly while leaving your hands on the steering wheel. Don’t turn the steering wheel or hit the brakes hard, as neither of these two things are going to help you to stop your car from sliding. In fact, both turning the wheeling and hitting the brakes could make the situation worse if your traction returns.
Rear-wheel skids are harder for motorists to control. One of the best ways to be sure you are ready for them is to find a big parking lot or open area where you can practice when there is ice on the ground. By learning how to react to rear-wheel skids in a safe space, you can hopefully understand how best to respond if your tires start to skid when you are actually out on the roads.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment: 1-888-367-2900.
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Floyd-Tunnell v. Shelter Mut. Ins. Co. Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Stacking, July 3, 2014, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog