Severe winter weather can be frightening and dangerous for drivers of all ages. Ice, snow and untreated roads can make even the shortest trips treacherous. What is worse, many drivers do not exercise proper care when encountering bad weather.
- Keep your vehicle in good condition – Regular maintenance on your vehicle will prevent breakdowns or other service failures especially now that winter has arrived. Make sure your tires are in good shape and your winter tires have been installed. Check your windshield wipers and replace them if necessary. Have your battery tested and fluid levels checked on a regular basis in order to have confidence that you are behind the wheel of a safe vehicle each and every time you hit the road.
- Clear the snow - Be able to see and be seen. Keep windshields, windows, mirrors, lights, reflectors and the roof of your vehicle clear of snow and ice. Snow flying off the back of a car or truck can blind the driver of the vehicle behind it, creating the potential for a collision.
- Be mindful of the space between you and vehicles – Road conditions during the winter are unpredictable and so many drivers become less predictable as well. Give others plenty of space when you brake in order to avoid sliding on ice or snow leading to a collision.
- Minimize distraction – Make sure your cell phone is charged and tucked away in your glove compartment, pocket or purse, only adjust your GPS when stopped and adjust the radio sparingly. Maximize all of your focus on driving.
- Buckle up – Wearing a seatbelt greatly reduces the risk of serious injury if you are involved in a collision and it’s the law.
- Navigating Snow Plows – never crowd a snow plow or drive directly beside it. Not only do snow plows stop and exit the road frequently, they also drive slowly, make wide turns and overlap into other lanes. It is much safer to drive on the road behind a snow plow because it is clear of snow and ice. When driving behind a snow plow, avoid following too closely or making sudden stops. Snow plows can sometimes throw up a cloud of snow that can reduce your visibility and make it difficult to react to various road hazards.
- Prepare for the worst – No one wants to think about worst-case scenarios but it’s always important to be prepared especially with a full tank of gas. Put together an emergency kit with food, water, blankets, a small shovel and your snow brush that includes an ice scraper. That way, if you end up stuck you have the supplies you need and you will not run out of gas.
- Unless absolutely necessary, do not drive. Do not make unnecessary trips and try to cancel plans if you are worried about your ability to handle the snow. Icy roads can be treacherous and even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone can.
When you have a hard time seeing due to a white out condition
- DO NOT PANIC.
- Slow down and put your hazard lights on.
- Do not use bright lights because they will reflect back at you.
- If traffic has stopped moving, come to a complete stop.
- Pull over if necessary and only when it is safe to do so. Remember to stay in your car.
Winter driving can be dangerous but with a little preparation, you can keep yourself and others safe this season. If you had the unfortunate experience of sustaining an injury while driving in the snow it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Our team at Iacobelli Law Firm realizes how difficult it is when you find yourself involved in a collision and the hardships that you unexpectedly face. Our Team provides compassionate, professional and effective legal counsel. We also offer a FREE Consultation so please feel free to call us at 1-866-234-6093 or complete our online contact form here. We are honored to serve our clients and our community.
Andrew Iacobelli is an experienced personal injury lawyer who established Iacobelli Law Firm with offices located in Ontario, Canada as well as offices in Florida, U.S.A. Andrew restricts his practice to the representation of personal injury victims in claims involving serious injuries and wrongful death.