Winter is a dangerous time for drivers because weather conditions can significantly increase the risk of a collision occurring. Snow, rain, and sleet can obstruct visibility, icy roads can increase the chances of motorists losing control of their vehicles, and changes in temperature can affect tire pressure and increase the chances of a blowout.
Because winter is a dangerous time, drivers need to take extra precautions when behind the wheel. If drivers behave in an unsafe way given the current weather conditions and they cause a collision to occur as a result, those motorists can be held accountable for any collisions that they cause to occur.
New York City motor vehicle accident attorneys should be consulted by victims of accidents for help determining if they can pursue a claim for compensation for losses. Drivers should also follow best practices to try to prevent winter collisions so accidents don’t happen in the first place.
Winter Driving Safety Tips
AAA provides some important advice to drivers on how they can stay safe and reduce the risk of motor vehicle accidents occurring due to winter weather conditions. AAA advises:
- Driving only when awake and alert. Drowsy driving is dangerous at all times, but especially during the winter when you need to be vigilant in looking for black ice or for other winter road hazards.
- Checking tire pressure. Make sure that your tires are properly inflated. You should follow manufacturer instructions for appropriate tire pressure.
- Sticking with the same tire types: You should not mix radial tires with other types of tires on the same vehicle.
- Keeping a full gas tank: Your gas tank should be at least half full to ensure your gas line does not freeze up. A full gas tank could also help ensure you do not become stranded if a blizzard occurs and it takes you much longer than expected to get home.
- Avoiding cruise control on slippery surfaces: It’s important to be in full control of your vehicle whenever you drive on slippery roads.
- Steering in the direction you want to go: You should always both look and steer in the direction where you are hoping to travel.
- Checking weather reports before heading out: If the weather report looks particularly bad and you don’t have to drive, avoid taking the risk.
- Staying with snowbound vehicles: If you get trapped in a storm, your car provides at least some shelter from the elements. You could quickly lose your sense of direction in a severe storm if you venture out for help and you may not be able to get back to the vehicle.
- Driving slowly in snowy conditions. Accelerating and decelerating slowly is especially important when driving in the snow.
Unfortunately, even if you do everything possible to stay safe while driving, you could still be hurt if other motorists who are on the road with you chose to behave in a careless and irresponsible way. If someone causes you harm by driving negligently, you should contact New York City motor vehicle accident attorneys for help pursuing a claim for compensation.