Winter Driving Safety Tips from Our Car Accident Lawyers
As car accident lawyers in Washington DC, we see many weather related accidents each year. Winter may not officially begin until December 21st but many parts of the country are already experiencing severe snow. If the snow storms of last year and this year’s prediction for a long, snowy winter are any indication, we suggest you prepare for dangerous weather conditions on the road. Our car accident lawyers in Washington DC hope that you will avoid driving in inclement weather as much as possible, but we recognize that this is not always practical. Check the forecast and radar before you get in your car this winter and also consider our strong advice to follow the below safety guidelines issued by AAA:
- Avoid warming up your car in a closed garage. Even when a garage door is open, it only takes two minutes for your car to emit a lethal amount of carbon monoxide. You may be cold, but leaving the heat off for the first few minutes of your drive could save your life.
- During snow:
- Avoid using cruise control in the snow, rain and ice. It may seem smart to keep your car at an easy, consistent speed during inclement weather but it is best if the driver does this him/herself rather than relying on cruise control. If a car starts hydroplaning—as sometimes occurs on wet, slushy roads—and the car is in cruise control mode, the car will accelerate to dangerous speeds and can cause serious or even fatal road accidents.
- Drive slowly. As we stated before, do not use cruise control for this purpose, but make sure you are obeying the speed limit to maintain better control of your vehicle.
- Do not use radial and non-radial tires on the same vehicle. Different kinds of tires make vehicles harder to handle consistently; the dangers resulting from this inconsistency are exacerbated in slippery, winter driving conditions.
- Consider avoiding the use of parking brakes whenever possible. Parking brakes may freeze as result of the cables being exposed to cold temperatures. Attempting to defrost them can be highly risky especially if heat or a flame from a blow torch is used and brought too close to the gas tank.
Cold, snowy, wet winter weather can pose several risks for drivers but if you are cautious, you will decrease your chance of being in a serious weather-related accident. If however, you are injured as the result of a negligent winter-weather driver, you may want to seek medical attention and consult with a personal injury lawyer.