Believe it or not, winter is upon us once again. With the holiday festivities that are in store come dangerous driving conditions that can threaten the safety and wellbeing of you and your family. This week on the blog, let’s look at some of winter’s most treacherous driving hazards and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.
- Icy roadways: Perhaps the most dangerous condition that New Hampshire drivers face is an icy road. Far too often, ice is hard to spot, whether because it’s black ice or because it’s covered by snow, and it can cause you to quickly lose control of your vehicle. The best way to avoid ice, of course, is to stay off the road, but when that isn’t possible try to drive slowly and avoid abrupt changes in direction or quick acceleration and stopping.
- Improperly maintained tires: Your tires are critical to gaining traction on slippery roads. If your tires are under inflated or have low treads, then the risk of sliding increases dramatically. To prevent this from happening to you, consider using snow tires during winter months. If that’s not an option, then realize that tires that are properly inflated during the warmer months probably won’t be during winter. Also, remember to check your tire treads to ensure that they’re not too worn.
- Low visibility: Winter storms can significantly reduce your visibility. Not only can snow and sleet be problematic in their own right, but the kickup from vehicles in front of you can make it hard for your windshield wipers to keep up. To ensure that you have the best visibility possible, you should remove all snow and ice from your windshield and hood, and you should make sure that your interior defrost system works appropriately. Also, keep enough distance between your vehicle and vehicles that are in front of you so as to reduce the effect of moisture that have been kicked up.
- Dead batteries: Cold weather can take a toll on your car battery. While that may not pose a safety risk while driving, it can certainly leave you stranded out in the cold, which is a safety risk in its own right. The only way to avoid this from happening to you is to carry an alternative power source that can charge your battery. Jumper cables can provide you with another option. It’s also helpful to be prepared for cold weather, such as by stocking your car up with blankets and provisions.
Being aware and prepared
As you can see, there are a lot of dangerous conditions out there that could put you at risk. Preparedness is key to your safety, but so, too, is mere awareness. Recognize that snow can be compacted by traffic and frozen into ice. Realize that your vehicle’s operating systems and tires are going to need more attention. Be as defensive of a driver as you can be, making sure that you leave plenty of room between yourself and other vehicles.
We know that even the safest drivers can be involved in a winter weather-related accident. When that happens, you’ll want to know what you can do to position yourself for the fullest recovery possible. We hope you don’t find yourself in that situation, but if you do, then personal injury attorneys like those at our firm stand ready to provide guidance so that you can achieve the outcome that you deserve. In the meantime, safe travels out there, and let us know in the comments below if there are any other dangerous winter driving conditions that you think your neighbors should be aware of.