Driving in Winter – Specific Issues
Winter makes safe driving harder for everyone on the road. Poor visibility, blizzards and black ice are just some of the things which Mother Nature can throw at you in winter, so be prepared and stay safe on the road this holiday season. Some little advice can go a long way in this case because winter car accidents are somewhat different to the average fender bender, which undoubtedly most drivers have been a part of.
Ice on the road is by far the biggest culprit and cause of accidents in winter. Problem with ice is that your car won’t stop whatever you do, the darn thing just keeps sliding, until it hits something. Accidents caused by ice or black ice are usually rear end collisions, sliding out of a turn, and sliding through an intersection. Obviously, how these happen would be quite self-explanatory for the average driver, so there is no need to get into too much detail about the geometry and physics of such crashes, but rather focus on how to prevent and deal with these situations effectively.
Your Fault – My Fault – Should We Call Someone?
In these types of so called winter road accidents, unfortunately the one doing the sliding and hitting, is the one taking the wrap. If you were the one who rear ended the car in front of you, or you were the one who couldn’t stop at a red light and slid through an intersection hitting another car in the process, you guessed it – you’re it. Poor visibility accidents are quite common too during winter driving, poor visibility can be caused by fog, fog and rain, blizzard, or a merciless combination of all these. In such situations save yourself the potential hassles, and pull over for an hour or two until the situation improves.
If things are looking to be going from bad to worse and the weather is getting more appalling by the minute, perhaps reconsider the trip altogether. If you were in a poor visibility accident, unfortunately there are no exemptions from blame – standard road rules apply in bad weather too, so the one who did the hitting will be to blame. If that was you, call your accident attorney, listen and follow their advice very strictly and do exactly what they tell you to. Your car accident attorney will walk you through what happens next in order to save some unnecessary woes later on. Make an appointment for consultation as soon as possible – quick, spot on actions stand well with insurers and authorities. Emergency services must be notified immediately if there are injured people! Call your insurers after notifying emergency services and your attorney.
Forewarned is Forearmed
Avoiding getting into winter road accidents is not easy, after all driving in winter is not easy itself, but you can up your chances of a hassle-free trip by having your car ready for winter driving. Prepping up your car for winter driving is essential. Start by fitting on winter tires – if you don’t have such – buy a set, they make a huge difference. In case you will be driving through snow consider tire chains they can save you on more than one occasion. If you feel confident in your snow driving skills – release some of the pressure from your tires as softer tires during snow driving will allow for extra contact surface area with the road.
Top up with some winter coolant, not water – cars overheat in winter too, then they freeze – avoid that, it’s simple. Check your lights – fog lights too, they need to be working, and pointing the right way. A bag of sea salt can also come in handy if your vehicle has become frozen still after driving in the snow and ice. Salt can be sprinkled around tires, and underneath the car in order to loosen up the ice from the night before and allow the car to heat up and melt itself out of there. Keep your wits about you, be smart and enjoy your winter holidays.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia/Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho