During this time of year, we have been singing about the beauty of a “White Christmas” but we don’t dream about white highways. Even for experienced drivers, winter weather can throw a curveball (or snowball) and make driving more dangerous. To avoid car accidents, drivers should be aware of how to handle winter conditions before getting behind the wheel.
Clear Off Your Car
Before your car leaves your driveway, make sure all snow and ice is cleared from the entire car – this includes the roof, hood, trunk, and license plate. Any glass surfaces, like lights, windows, and mirrors, should be clear and transparent. Not only is this for your safety, but it is the law in Rhode Island. By clearing all snow and ice off your car, you are keeping drivers around you safe and increasing your own visibility on the road.
Keep Your Gas Tank At Least Half Full
In the summer months, you may be able to get away with keeping your gas tank less full, but it’s unsafe to do this in the winter. If your gas tank is less than half full, you can run the risk of it freezing up.
Be Careful Braking
When there is snow or ice on the ground, you have less traction. Gently pump the brakes to avoid skidding. However, if your back wheels begin to skid and you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), apply steady pressure instead.
Even for experienced drivers, this is very important. You may think that you know your car and how it reacts in winter conditions, but you cannot account for other people on the road. Driving slowly will give you more reaction time and is safer for accelerating, stopping, and turning. If you end up getting into a car accident, the damage will likely be less severe than if you were driving faster.
Look and Steer in the Direction You Want to Go
When you notice your car sliding and skidding, don’t panic! If you oversteer, you are more likely to collide with other vehicles or objects. Stay calm and steer in the direction you want to go. If you are driving slowly and giving more distance between you and other vehicles, you decrease the likelihood of crashing.
Being prepared and learning the best ways to handle winter driving will make you a safer driver. However, if you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident during the winter, call Rob Levine & Associates. Our personal injury attorneys will answer your questions and help you learn your options during your free consultation.