What You Should Know About the Dangers of Winter Driving
Winter weather and driving is a dangerous combination that frequently results in car accidents. Every year, just under 25% of all vehicle crashes that are weather-related will take place on icy, snowy, or slushy pavement. Before you drive in inclement weather this winter, it’s essential that you understand the dangers that winter driving can pose.
Primary Dangers and Risks of Driving During Winter Weather
Winter weather is a common occurrence in New Jersey. Whether snow, sleet, or any mixture of these is falling, the best thing to do when inclement weather hits is to stay inside and off the roads. However, this isn’t always possible for people who have to commute to work even when the road conditions are poor. In this situation, driving slowly and being extra-cautious should significantly reduce the chances of you getting into an accident.
To further reduce the risk of getting into an accident, there are numerous dangers of winter driving that you should be aware of, the primary of which is black ice. This form of ice is mostly transparent and can be difficult to detect while driving, which makes it among the most dangerous hazards that you can face in the winter. When your vehicle drives over a patch of black ice, make sure that you slow down without braking too hard. As long as you remain calm and steer smoothly, you should be able to avoid an accident.
Another danger that you should be on the lookout for is accelerating or braking too quickly. The roads will be slick, which means that any quick acceleration or hard braking could cause your tires to lock up. Winter conditions can also reduce visibility, which is why your windshield should always be defrosted. Make sure that all of your signal lights are free from snow or ice. Yet another danger of winter driving is overconfidence. Even if you’ve safely driven in winter weather before, an accident can take place regardless of the quality of your driving.
Tips for Safe Driving During Inclement Weather
If it’s absolutely necessary for you to drive during winter weather, it’s important that you follow some basic safety tips. For one, make sure that you have a flashlight, some warm clothing, and some extra food and water in your vehicle in the event of an accident. When driving, your following distance should be around five to six seconds, which will protect you if the vehicle in front of you comes to a sudden stop. Some additional tips to adhere to include the following:
- Apply steady pressure to the brakes when slowing down.
- Don’t increase your speed when driving up hills, which could cause your wheels to spin.
- Don’t stop when you drive up a hill.
- Always drive slowly.
- Try not to use cruise control.
What to Do If You’re Involved in an Accident
If you’re driving in winter weather and you get into an accident, it’s likely that your insurance would provide some coverage for any vehicle damage and injuries that were sustained. There are times, however, when a car accident is the fault of another individual, company, or entity. For instance, the manufacturer of the vehicle may be at fault if the accident occurred because of a faulty part. In the event that the accident resulted from the negligent actions of another driver, you may have legal options at your disposal.
Our Morristown personal injury lawyer can assist you in identifying if your case would benefit from legal representation. It’s common for lawsuits to be filed in situations where the other driver’s insurance provider doesn’t offer enough compensation. It’s also possible to file a lawsuit against the driver themselves. When you request our services, we will work on building a strong case before proceeding with a lawsuit. In the event that a lawsuit is necessary, we can file all of the necessary paperwork and help you understand every facet of the process.
If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident that resulted in an injury, contact our Morristown personal injury lawyer at (973) 898-0161 to get started.