Unlike snowmobiles and snowcats, cars are not meant for the snow. That is why roads are plowed and treated. It is also why cars get stuck, slide around, and get into accidents in the winter. As auto accident lawyers, we want you to have a safe winter and wish to share these seven winter driving tips:
Avoid Driving in Storms When It Isn’t Necessary
If the weather forecast predicts a winter storm and your schedule is flexible, stay off the roads until the storm is over and the roads are treated. A few hours of delay can mean the difference between a nerve-wracking drive in dangerous conditions and easy driving on plowed and treated roads.
Beware of Black Shiny Pavement
Black ice is a frozen film of water that gives the road surface a black and shiny appearance. When on a short patch of black ice, drive through it in a straight line without braking, turning your wheels, down-shifting, or accelerating. In other words, avoid doing anything that requires wheel traction. Normal pavement appears gray-white in winter.
Drive as Smoothly as Possible
Because of limited wheel traction on snow-covered or icy roads, you should avoid maneuvers that require lots of traction. These include hard braking, hard turning, and hard acceleration. Attempting any of these will cause a skid. Slow down, brake gently, and slow down some more when turning on sharp corners.
Allow Plenty of Road Space in Front
Because slippery conditions won’t allow hard braking, you must compensate by increasing your following distances. When pulling into traffic, do so well in front of the traffic you are merging with. Your acceleration will be limited as will their braking.
Allow Extra Travel Time
Safe driving in slippery conditions demand slower driving speeds. This means it will take longer to reach your destination.
Beware of Bridges and Overpasses
Bridges and overpasses ice up faster than pavement covering the ground.
Water Puddles in the Day Become Black Ice at Night
On warm winter days, snow on the side of the road will melt and form puddles on the road. If the temperature drops below freezing later in the day or at night, these puddles will become black ice.
If another motorist’s poor winter driving skills involve you in an accident, contact us for a free consultation. Mike Lewis Attorneys represent accident victims in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.