Wintertime in the Merrimack Valley region of New England sometimes means having to drive on snowy, icy roads. With the proper precautions, it is possible to drive safely on slippery streets and highways and minimize the chances of getting into a car accident.
Thanks to AAA, here are some common-sense tips for safer winter driving:
- Slow down. It is not safe to drive through snow and ice at the same speeds you would normally use when the roads are dry. The slower you go, the better your vehicle will be able to maintain traction.
- Increase your following distance. Keep a minimum of five to six seconds of distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This gives you the space you need to brake gently and hopefully avoid a spinout.
- When possible, slow down instead of stopping. If you are approaching a red light, it is often safer to start slowing down early instead of braking when you reach the intersection. If you time it right (and there are no stopped vehicles in front of you), the light will change and you can continue without having to stop entirely and then accelerate.
- Don’t go. If a blizzard is limiting visibility and the roads have not yet been plowed, avoid driving if at all possible.
We know that most of our readers already understand the adjustments it takes to drive reasonably safely in winter. Unfortunately, you cannot count on everyone else on the road being experienced winter drivers. Worse, you cannot know when someone will choose to ignore their duty to take reasonable steps to drive safely. Besides driving too fast for the weather conditions, they might be distracted by their phone, impaired by drugs or alcohol, or simply driving recklessly.
Even if the driver that crashed into you was not doing any of those things, failing to adjust for winter weather is a form of negligence. You could be entitled to substantial compensation for things like your medical costs, lost past and future wages, pain and suffering, and more.