During the winter months, drivers need to exercise extra caution to keep themselves and others on the roadway safe. The winter brings many car accident hazards that are not present at other times of year, such as:
- Decreased visibility due to shorter periods of daylight
- Ice and snow accumulation on the road
- Dramatic temperature decreases that can affect tire pressure
A driver who is educated about winter car accident hazards and how to handle them is a safe driver. Below are a few safety guidelines every driver should observe this winter.
Inspections Before Driving Keep Motorists Safe
When temperatures drop, the water in a vehicle’s cooling system should be replaced with antifreeze. Before driving, a driver should take the time to check all the fluid levels in their vehicle and top the fluids off if necessary. Drivers should also check their tire pressure and ensure that tires, including the spare tire, are properly inflated before each trip.
When Snow and Ice are on the Road, Traction is Critical
Drivers should consider equipping their vehicles with snow tires this winter. Winter tires are optimized for driving on snow- and ice-covered roadways by providing greater traction. They can last for up to seven seasons if they are properly stored and maintained during the warmer months.
When winter tires are not an option, tire chains can provide the traction a driver needs to stay safe on slick roadways this winter.
Winter Weather Hazards
The most crucial way for a driver to stay safe on winter roadways is to adjust their driving to their environment. Drivers should take the time to learn how to handle their vehicles in the snow and ice by referring to their owner’s manuals, rather than making assumptions based on what they learned previously or believe to be true. Many people who started driving before anti-lock brakes became standard were taught to pump their brakes when sliding into emergency situations, but this is no longer the recommended action. Now, drivers are advised to brake firmly and let their vehicle come to a full stop.
When snow is steep, drivers should maintain a slow, steady pace instead of stopping. Stopping can cause a car or truck to get stuck because it interferes with the vehicle’s momentum. Attempting to drive too fast through accumulated snow can make a vehicle’s tires spin, which decreases the driver’s control.
Although four-wheel drive vehicles do have better traction than other types of vehicles, drivers of these vehicles should still use caution and drive more slowly and carefully when snow is on the ground.
Car accidents can happen at any time of year. In the winter, drivers face specific hazards such as snow and ice accumulation on the road, which are only exacerbated by the decreased visibility of shorter days. Though these conditions can make driving more treacherous, it does not mean a crash is inevitable. Drivers must exercise reasonable caution when travelling in hazardous weather conditions. When they fail in this duty, they may be held financially accountable for injuries caused by their negligent actions.
Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. Help Victims of Driver Negligence or Recklessness
If you were injured in a car accident, complete our online contact form or call 856-354-9444 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced and compassionate Cherry Hill car accident lawyer at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. We have offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania to serve clients in South Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area.