Avoiding Winter Auto Accidents

Winter driving can be treacherous. Even on a clear day, you can encounter icy roads and snow blowing across the roadway unexpectedly. Snow and ice storms can be even more dangerous in areas of the country where they are rare, because drivers are not used to the conditions and road crews are not always prepared to clear the roads.

Driving on Snow and Ice

Snowstorms present hazards such as poor visibility, snow drifts, and more. Once the storm is cleared, you may still have to watch for black ice. It is not visible and is often found in patches on otherwise dry roads.

Get off to a good start by making sure your defrosters and wipers are working properly. Clear the snow off of your hood and roof, not just the windows, or you could be blasted with blinding clods of snow when you reach higher speeds. Make sure your vehicle is up to the task – your four-wheel drive is working in equipped vehicles, you have the appropriate tires, and have chains if necessary.

Tips for Avoiding Winter Auto Accidents When Driving in Snow and Ice Conditions:

  • Do not tailgate. Maintain at least three times the distance than you normally would between your vehicle and the car in front of you.
  • Do not brake or turn suddenly. Slow down by letting off the gas, and brake gently if you must.
  • Do not fall into the trap of believing you can drive faster in a four-wheel drive vehicle. Four-wheel drive does not keep you from sliding when you hit the brakes.
  • Drive slowly, even if you think the road should be dry.
  • Be extremely careful on bridges and overpasses. They may be icy when the rest of the road is clear.
  • If visibility is poor, turn on your headlights so that other drivers can see you from farther away.
  • Watch out for snowplows. When passing an oncoming snowplow, be prepared to pass through a cloud of snow which will temporarily limit or eliminate visibility. Do not try to pass a snowplow from behind.

If you have been hurt in a winter accident, you may need legal help. Learn more about motor vehicle accident attorneys or find a qualified attorney in your area.