According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, weather related traffic accidents accounted for 1,311,970 traffic accidents and 6,253 deaths from 2002 to 2012. Of those fatalities, 1,152 were caused by ice covered, or slushy roads. Since winter is fast approaching and the temperatures begin to drop, the Parker Law Firm has some tips to help you safely operate your vehicle in sub-freezing conditions.
- Drive more slowly and allow three times more space between you and the vehicle you are following. The added distance will give you more time to stop without rear-ending the car in front of you.
- When you have to stop your vehicle, break gently to avoid skidding. If the roads are icy you should never break abruptly, as this will most likely lead to your car sliding out of control.
- When driving in the snow or sleet, it is important to consider your visibility. Before you leave your house, make sure that your windshield is clean, your windshield wipers are in working order and that your headlights are on. Increased visibility can help you avoid breaking quickly and skidding.
- Before hitting the road, warm up your car and make sure that the windshield has been scraped clean of all ice. Keeping your mirrors and windows defrosted will also help your visibility.
- Avoid using cruise control and operate your car in the lower gears. Driving your vehicle in low gear will give you more traction and this is imperative when driving on icy hills or mountain roads.
- Use extreme caution when driving over an icy bridge or overpass. Even if the temperature is above freezing, bridges can retain icy much longer than grounded roads.
- Do not pass snow plows or sanding trucks. First, the road in front of the sanding truck is more likely worse than it is behind it. Second, these trucks have poor visibility and passing any vehicle—especially large ones—in icy conditions is extremely dangerous.
If you or a loved one is involved in a traffic accident that has resulted from inclement weather, the first thing you need to do is seek proper medical attention. After ensuring that you and your family are safe, call the Parker Law Firm for a Complimentary Strategy Session. We have a team of seasoned traffic accident attorneys that will discuss your situation with you, and help you determine the best course of action. At the Parker Law Firm, People Matter, and our primary concern is your safety and fair treatment under the law.