The number of accidents that occur increase dramatically in winter months; it doesn’t take long to realize why. Of course the obvious reasons are the snow, ice, fog, and other elements related to winter weather. Winter weather is dangerous for driving, walking, sports, or any activity that takes you outside your cozy shelter. In addition to poor weather, the holiday season means that more travel is happening. Whether it’s traveling to another state to celebrate with family, traversing canyons for skiing and sledding, or simply driving around your area. More shopping, parties, and fun activities means more driving, which means more opportunities for accidents. Finally, the winter season often means parties, which means more people in your vehicles and sometimes, unfortunately, drinking.
Accidents happen, and they’re often unavoidable. But there are things you can do to minimize your risk and decrease the risk of winter accidents. It takes some adjustment and planning, but it’s well worth the time to avoid winter accidents!
- Check Your Tires – they should all be properly inflated, with plenty of tread, and even wearing. Switch to snow tires if your climate dictates the need. Poor tires can cause accidents, flats, and blown tires much more frequently. Well-working tires will stop as designed even on icy roads.
- Limit Distractions – Put your cell phone under your seat or in the backseat. This is a quick and easy way to ensure that even a ringing phone or text doesn’t avert your gaze for a second or two. Keep your music at a reasonable volume, and ask your passengers to stay in their seats and to avoid distracting you.
- Practice Braking & Accelerating Slowly – Slamming on breaks will almost always cause you to fishtail or spin; your brakes will lock up and fail to actually stop your car. Make it a habit to brake and accelerate gradually during the winter months.
- Leave Early – Speeding, stressing, and rushing are all big factors in winter crashes. You can avoid this by leaving early for all of your winter plans and events. You can also leave parties and events before everyone else to decrease the traffic on the roads. Keeping an eye on the forecast can help you know to leave at a certain time to miss a big storm.
- Completely Remove Snow – That means off your car, off your driveway, and off your sidewalks. Even a little bit of snow on a side window can impair your vision while driving; be sure to remove it all! Shovel or plow your driveway and walkways regularly, and use rock salt or cat litter to melt ice and provide traction. Be aware of slipping and falling they are also winter accidents to avoid.
During this winter season, use constant vigilance to keep yourself and your family as safe as possible. If you do find yourself at the mercy of a winter accident, don’t hesitate to call an accident attorney as quickly as possible.