How to Avoid Accident-Related Death During the Winter Months

Home Improvement

Inclement and winter-related weather conditions only increase the possibility of car accidents occurring. More car accidents happen during the winter months than at any other time. A higher chance of car accidents in the winter also corresponds to an increased event of death. In most cases, these deaths are preventable.

Understand How Winter Conditions Affect the Drivability of Your Vehicle

Driving in the winter can be difficult because of snow and ice. All passengers should obey all seatbelt laws at all times. Snow is white, causing some white, beige, and other lighter-colored vehicles to blend in with the surrounding area. To a tired or distracted driver, your car may not be seen on time. Ice is clear but can’t always be seen.

Black ice is ice that has formed on top of the pavement. This layer of ice may or may not be covered in snow. If the weather drops at the right moment, with the right amount of moisture on the road, this type of ice forms, making it difficult, if not impossible, to stop in time. Applying the brakes will not guarantee that your car will slow down or stop.

Slow Down and Give More Space

The best way to prevent accidents during the winter is to drive slower than usual. Driving too fast on winter roads can cause you to lose control of your vehicle due to slippery surfaces and decreased visibility. Provide twice as much or more space than you usually do between you and other cars at all times. Fog and sleet can develop at a moment’s notice during winter conditions and will further hamper your ability to remain in constant control of your vehicle.

Use Winter Tires Meant for Your Vehicle

Winter tires are also essential. They offer better traction in cold weather, which will help you avoid skidding if you need to stop suddenly. It’s also important not to slam on your brakes when driving. Only use winter tires rated for your make, model, and manufactured vehicle for best results. Change them out at the end of the season for regular tires.

Don’t Use Extreme Winter Weather to Practice Your Driving Skills

If you aren’t experienced driving in winter conditions, do not use inclement weather to start learning. If you must practice (to get better), only do so in a large and empty parking lot with another more experienced driver who can safely get you to and from there. In other words, only do so under highly-controlled conditions with each of you wearing seatbelts. Ensure each of you have proper car insurance actively in place.

Monitor the Weather and Adjust Accordingly

Prioritize your safety beyond the need to pick up last-minute gifts for the holidays or to impress a new romantic encounter. Always pay attention to the weather alerts and reports, and if the weather is going to provide more than one wintery condition you don’t feel comfortable driving in, then don’t drive in it. If your planned activities will keep you out well past dark and the temperature will likely cause ice to form on the road, then rearrange your activities for another time.

With a few simple preventative steps, many winter-related accidents can be avoided. As you employ more safety measures in your driving habits, the more you reduce your chances of experiencing an accident-related death during the winter. There is no shame in avoiding getting out on the roads when it means keeping you and others safe. If you did everything you could to avoid an accident and someone else wasn’t careful, resulting in a crash, please don’t hesitate to speak to a car accident attorney.