Winter Roadway Hazards and How to Stay Safe
While many of us grew up shoveling snow in our driveways, putting snow tires on our cars, and bracing ourselves for the harsh weather conditions that can come with winter, none of us should grow complacent. Winter weather can prove extremely dangerous for drivers. The freezing temperatures and icy conditions require everyone to remain extra vigilant in order to stay safe in the months ahead.
One of the best safety tips for winter driveway has to do with vehicle maintenance. Get your car checked out. Make sure your tires are in good shape, your wipers are in order, brakes fully functioning, window defrosters remain effective, and anything else that needs to be addressed. This type of routine maintenance can not only help keep you more comfortable while driving, but can also help you cope with extreme weather conditions that can occur in the winter months.
Decreased visibility is a significant danger in winter. Sleet and snow are not only difficult to clear from a windshield, but it makes it difficult to see outside your vehicle. Additionally, windows fog with the difference in temperatures inside and outside of a car. When you cannot effectively see where you are going, all kinds of serious accidents can happen. You could hit another car, a pedestrian, or a non-moving object such as a parked car or light pole. In addition to getting your wipers, headlights, and window defrosters in working order, be sure to carry an ice scraper for your windshield in your car. Also, reduce your speed significantly when visibility is limited.
Another serious threat to roadway safety in the winter is ice on roadways. Black ice, in particular, can be a significant issue in winter as it is ice that is not clearly visible to the eye. Vehicle tires that hit icy surfaces risk losing traction and total control over the vehicle. Vehicles spin out, are unable to stop in time before hitting something or someone. Due to the fact that roadways are likely to be slippery in winter, always be sure to maintain greater distance between yourself and everyone else on the road. Also, drive at lower speeds than you may normally.
You should also check weather conditions prior to heading out on the road. If a winter storm is predicted to roll through, avoid going out unless absolutely necessary. Should you still need to go out in the midst of a storm, be sure to tell someone where you are going and the route you intend to take. Should you experience any problems along the way, this will work to help ensure you are more easily located.
Keep a winter emergency kit in your case should you experience car trouble in winter. This may include things to keep you warm, water and provisions, and more. Should your car break down, pull over to the side of the road. Make sure the exhaust pipe is clear and no snow or anything else is blocking it. Run your car every hour as you wait for help to arrive. It is safer to stay with your vehicle as you wait for help.
At Fazli & Associates, we are here to serve our clients in all seasons. If you are injured on the road in these winter months, contact us. We are committed to helping our injured clients get the monetary compensation they deserve for the harm suffered in an auto accident.