Now that the holiday season is over, all the chilly weather, snow, ice, and wind isn’t quite as magical. Even less magical is when that snow, ice, and wind causes you to get into a wreck!
Careful driving in these conditions is absolutely necessary, and unfortunately it only takes one person to ruin it for the rest.
Some accidents are, unfortunately, unavoidable, but you can take actions to ensure that you are as safe as possible on the road, and not causing the accidents yourself.
1.) Vehicle Maintenance
Keeping headlights and taillights in order is one of the most overlooked maintenance steps. When driving in poor conditions, sometimes the ONLY visible thing are the headlights and taillights. During the cold months of the year, keeping your lights in working order, and free of any debris like ice or snow is critical. Your lights not only keep you safe, but those around you as well.
Another critical vehicle maintenance step to take is to make sure your tires are staying properly inflated, and the tread is still adequately present. A common and easy test to ensure your tire tread is still good is to take a quarter, and put it upside-down into a tread on your tire. George Washington’s hair should be somewhat or completely covered. If all his hair is visible, it is most likely time to get new tires.
2.) Follow Distance and Brakes
Follow distance is the superhero of the safe driving world. Keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you can help prevent a huge variety of potential accidents that could occur. In poor weather conditions, follow distance is even more important. If there is ice, water, or snow on the road, your ability to stop or turn is severely limited. Give yourself extra room so when the vehicle in front of you stops, you can stop adequately. Having extra space in front of you also allows for safer lane transfers on busy streets and highways.
Braking and follow distance go hand in hand. If you have ever tried to use your brakes, or accelerate quickly on a snowy, icy, or wet road you know that it is not easy, and can cause you to spin out of control. Getting your brakes checked is important too. Your brakes may work completely fine in normal conditions, but may not work well enough for winter conditions.
3.) Aren’t These Accidents Mother Nature’s Fault?
If you are in an accident in poor driving conditions, you cannot just blame mother nature and be on your way. There may be times where it really isn’t anyone’s fault, but 99% of the time one of the drivers was not driving safely in the dangerous environment around them. If you want to avoid accidents, liability, and injury, it is best to practice safe driving to the best of your ability. Sometimes that may mean leaving earlier for an appointment, or staying in the slow lane to avoid more dangerous drivers that are going faster than they should be.
For more information about whether or not your case is due to the negligence of mother nature, or to the person that struck you, please contact our office at 404-969-1284.