Winter is an unpredictable season. While some days feel manageable, other days bring hazards, like snow and icy roads. These hazards can increase one’s likelihood of getting into a car accident. It is crucial that drivers practice an abundance of caution while driving during the winter season.
If a car accident does occur, the driver should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as it is feasible. A car accident is often a financial and emotional burden on an individual because of medical bills, lost wages, and vehicular damage. The victim may also leave the accident with emotional damages, like pain and suffering. This can ultimately make life more difficult for a victim. A victim should contact a lawyer in order to collect their entitled compensation to pay for the accident-related damages.
How Does Winter Affect Driving?
Winter weather can impact one’s ability to drive safely because of snow and icy roads, which leads to an influx of car accidents. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that 17 percent of all car accidents happen during the winter months. This increase in car accidents can be attributed to how the winter season affects drivers’ behaviors and vehicle efficiency. It is important that drivers know the risks of driving in the winter weather in order to prevent severe accidents.
Some ways the winter season affects driving:
- Snowy or icy roads can make it easier for a vehicle to hydroplane.
- Holiday shopping can lead to an influx of traffic on the roadways and in parking lots.
- The winter months include several holidays, including Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. Since holiday celebrations often include alcohol, drunk driving accidents increase as well.
- Icy roads can make it harder to brake, which can increase rear-end car accidents or cause someone to accidentally run a stop sign or red light.
How to Practice Safe Driving in the Winter Months
In order to prevent a car accident during the winter months, it is crucial that all drivers practice an abundance of caution. Safe driving includes driving slowly, keeping a safe distance between vehicles, and avoiding travel when it is possible. The following includes winter safety tips for drivers.
One way that a motorist can practice caution is by getting their vehicle ready to drive in the winter weather. In order to avoid an accident, a driver should always ensure that their vehicle has received the necessary maintenance and tune-ups to function properly in the snow. Some of this maintenance includes checking the vehicle’s coolant, tires, and battery to ensure that it is ready to take on the severe weather conditions.
A driver can also prepare their vehicle by cleaning their mirrors, back-up cameras, headlights, and taillights to ensure visibility in the cold weather. This helps other drivers see the vehicle in the snow as well.
Have an Emergency Kit Ready
Another vital safety tip is to ensure that the vehicle is equipped with necessary materials in case of an emergency. Since winter weather is so unpredictable, it is crucial that all drivers have a safety preparedness plan in case they are stuck in a blizzard or other natural disaster. This plan should include keeping materials in the car in case they are stuck for some time. Some items a driver should keep include:
- Warm clothes
- Flashlights with batteries
- Jumper cables
- Non-perishable foods
- Snow shovel
Increase Following Distance
Drivers should increase their following distance to five or six seconds. This is an incredibly important tip because a lot of people can lose control of their vehicles while driving on ice-covered roads. In order to avoid a rear-end accident, a driver should try to increase the distance between their car and the vehicle in front of them.
Adjust Speed to Conditions
Motorists should also avoid driving too slowly. Although this may seem counterproductive, it is important that drivers follow the natural speed of traffic. In fact, driving too slowly can be dangerous. It is important that drivers practice caution and not speed as well.
Avoid Stopping Quickly and Completely
Another important safety tip is to avoid stopping completely. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), avoiding stopping can prevent a vehicle from skidding or spinning out. This is especially important when one is driving uphill. This can prevent a driver from losing the necessary inertia they need.
Contact a Lawyer After a Collision
Although these safety tips are helpful, some car accidents are unpreventable. If a collision occurs, the victim should contact a lawyer immediately to help recover their accident-related losses. Ultimately, contacting a lawyer can ensure that a victim gets the support they need during their legal battle.
Towson Personal Injury Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Car Accident Victims Obtain Entitled Compensation
If you were injured in a winter car accident, you need to contact a Towson personal injury lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. Our legal team understands the financial and emotional burden of a car accident, and we can help you with your case. Contact us online or call us at 443-589-0150 for a free consultation today. Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we proudly serve clients throughout Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.