Winter Weather Road Safety Tips
Roughly 117,000 people are injured in the United States each year because of icy or snowy roads. It is estimated that 1,300 people die each year in a winter accident caused by winter road conditions. Let’s go over a few tips that may help you avoid causing an accident or being an accident victim.
Don’t Drive Too Fast for Road Conditions
The easiest way to avoid getting into an accident during the winter months is to drive slower on roads covered by ice or snow. When there is snow or ice on the ground, it is harder for your wheels to maintain contact with the pavement. Therefore, you are at a higher risk of spinning, sliding or not coming to a stop in a timely manner if you’re driving too fast. It is important to remember that police officers can ticket you for driving too fast for road conditions even if you are at or below the speed limit.
Increase Your Following Distance
Typically, your car needs more time to stop when you’re driving on wet roads. Therefore, you will need to increase your following distance to ensure that you have enough time to do so. Furthermore, increasing your stopping distance means that you won’t have to slam on your brakes if the vehicle in front of yours stops suddenly.
Applying the brakes too hard when traveling on ice or snow increases your chances of skidding or sliding off the road. If you are traveling behind another vehicle, try to stay in that vehicle’s tracks to gain greater traction.
Make Sure That Your Car Is Properly Maintained to Avoid a Winter Accident
Before you leave the house each morning, be sure that your vehicle’s tires are properly inflated and that they have sufficient tread. Tires that aren’t properly inflated can cause an increase in your car’s stopping time and distance. They could also be at a greater risk of a blowout, which could increase your chances of losing control of your vehicle.
It is also a good idea to be sure that your vehicle’s brakes, heating system and windshield wipers are working properly. Poor brake performance could make it difficult to stop or slow down on uneven road surfaces. If the heating system isn’t working, ice could quickly accumulate on the windshield, which can make it hard to see. Windshield wipers that are old or hard may not be able to remove road spray in an efficient or timely manner.
How to Tell If a Winter Accident Is Your Fault
If you have been involved in an accident while driving on wet or slippery roads, it may be worth your while to talk with an auto accident attorney who can assess the merits of your case. An attorney may be able to determine whether you are actually liable for a crash or not. For instance, you may not be liable for an accident caused by a driver who ran a red light even if your car wasn’t properly maintained.
Furthermore, you may not be liable for an accident that happened while following too closely to another vehicle. This could be true if you were struck by another vehicle or object that forced your car to collide with the one in front of it. In some cases, drivers may share liability for an accident, which may reduce the amount of compensation that you can collect in a settlement or at trial.
It is worth noting that New Jersey uses the comparative negligence standard. This means that if you are more than 50% responsible for an accident, you are typically entitled to collect nothing even if the crash was not entirely your fault.
If you have been involved in a car accident, contact an auto accident attorney at RAM Law today. We can be reached at our New Brunswick office by calling (732) 247-3600 or at our Somerville office by calling (908) 448-2560. You can also learn more about our firm and how we can help by sending an email to email@example.com.