Throughout Massachusetts and the Northeast, we have already seen the dangerous potential of winter storms, including reduced visibility, icy roads, and snowy highways. Whether you are taking a road trip or on your daily commute to work, it is important to remember winter safety when driving in the snow or in icy conditions. Learning how to break properly, being aware of other drivers, and knowing when it is too dangerous to get behind the wheel can help prevent accidents and keep your family safe.
In addition to preparing your vehicle for winter weather, you should take precautions as a driver. Our Boston car accident attorneys are experienced in representing clients who have been injured in an accident. Winter can carry significant risks to drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians. Whether driving in the city, on a rural highway or traveling at high speeds on the interstate, be aware of the potential risks you may face this winter. Here are some tips to keep you prepared and safe when driving in winter weather.
Bring chains for your vehicle. Especially when taking long distance trips, you should bring chains for your vehicle. Chains are invaluable when driving through deep snow and can be necessary when going through mountainous regions.
Decrease your speed. As always you should leave plenty of room between your car and another vehicle. When driving in snowy or icy conditions, you should allow yourself even more room to stop. You may not know when your car is going to slip or be out of your control. You should leave at least three times more space than usual between you and another car.
When braking, do so gently to avoid skidding. In some instances, your wheels may lock up. You should ease of the brake to regain control of the vehicle.
When it is snowy or foggy, turn on your lights so that other cars can see you. You should also be sure to keep your windshield clean and make sure you have enough window fluid in your vehicle.
Be extra careful when crossing bridges. Slipping out of control or off a bridge could be deadly. Also be wary on overpasses, winding or mountainous terrain, or on roads that are not well traveled. Roads could be icy, even if weather is above freezing temperature.
Do not pass snow plows or other heavy machinery. Even though snow plows and other snow removal machinery. Drivers will have reduced visibility and their job is to clear the roads for other drivers. If you stay behind a snow plow with plenty of room, you can also expect the road conditions improved, rather than speeding to go around the plow.
Bring a winter safety kit. You should have available blankets, water, food, change of clothes, matches, an ice scraper, batteries, rope and a radio in case your car breaks down or you become stranded in the snow.
When driving on hills, stay in low gears to keep your traction. If you are on the freeway, don’t put your car in overdrive or on cruise control. This could increase the likelihood of an accident.
Know that your vehicle has its limitations. Do not assume, even with an SUV, that your motor vehicle can handle all weather conditions. Even vehicles with 4-wheel and front-wheel drive can face significant challenges and unsafe driving conditions on winter roads.
If you or a loved one was involved in a motor-vehicle accident, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call (617) 777-7777 today.
More Blog Entries:
Snowy Roads Blamed for Driver’s Death, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, December 16, 2013
No “Selfies” in the Driver’s Seat!, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 29, 2013