Safety advocates are focusing on inclement-weather driving tips as winter arrives. While many of us are veteran winter drivers, there are some new drivers out there too. Regardless of your skill level behind the wheel, it’s important that you refresh (or learn for the first time) your skills for driving in winter weather conditions.
These conditions can change rapidly and we’ve got to be ready to anything at any time. It’s important to know road conditions, know your vehicle and make sure that it’s operating properly. Plan ahead!
Officials with the New York Department of Transportation say that the best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. But our New York City car accident attorneys understand that isn’t always possible, so before you head out, consider the following to help ensure a safer trip.
It’s helpful to practice winter driving techniques in a snowy, open parking lot, so you’re familiar with how your car handles. Consult your owner’s manual for tips specific to your vehicle. Whenever there are icy roadways, make sure you reduce your speed. You want to allow yourself plenty of time to stop. In this scenario, you want to triple your regular following distance.
You also want to be cautious when braking. Brake lightly to avoid skidding. If your wheels lock up, then your best bet is to ease off the brake.
Always travel with your headlights on. This is going to increase your visibility to other motorists.
It’s a good idea to use low gears. This is going to help your vehicle maintain traction. This is especially important while traveling on hills. You also want to avoid the cruise control or using overdrive, especially on icy roads.
You want to be most cautious when traveling on roads less traveled, overpasses and bridges. These areas are likely to freeze before any other area of roadway.
And you can expect to see sanding trucks and snow plows out in force. Remember that these drivers oftentimes suffer from limited visibility. Stay behind them and avoid passing. The road is clearer and safer behind them anyway.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that your vehicle may not be able to handle these conditions as well as you think. Even vehicles with front-wheel and four-wheel drive can run into trouble on icy and snowy roads.
According to icyroadsafety.com, there were an average of 467 fatalities per year between 2008 and 2010 because of icy roads alone. And, even if you live in warmer climates, winter driving can be a wild and wooly experience regardless.
Living in New York, we are just about guaranteed to have some days with difficult driving conditions during the winter months (and sometimes during the spring months, too). Some winters are worse than others, and some days it is probably better to stay in and not drive at all, if possible.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a traffic accident, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC for s free consultation. Call 1-877-313-7673.
More Blog Entries:
Hit-And-Run Car Accidents on the Rise in New York, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, November 18, 2013
Tired New Yorkers Increasing Accidents Risks on Your Commute, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, November 15, 2013