Winter really is the most wonderful time of the year, that is until your car slips and you rear end someone. Now you have to spend all of your holiday money and time off dealing with an auto accident. Sorry Timmy, no iPhone for you this year. What makes it even worse is that it could have been completely preventable. Here are a few tips that will assist in making the winter season crash-free:
- Overconfidence: Especially in states like Illinois where it may seem like winter lasts nine months, drivers tend to believe that they have “seen it all, done it all” with winter driving. This is the worst attitude to have and it leads one to drive less cautiously than the conditions allow. Sometimes venturing out is not the best thing to do after a fresh five inches of snow. Know when to stay home.
- Get Better Tires: Proper tires can make the difference in snowy conditions. A good tire will have at least 6/32-inch deep tread. Note this is the minimum tread. To find great winter tires, look for the snowflake emblem on the tire.
- Good Visibility. Being able to see is one of the most basic needs when driving. Replace your windshield wipers and make sure they can handle the weight and volume of snow your windshield may receive. Change the wiper fluid and make sure you have some that won’t freeze.
- Defrost the windows. Make sure to use the defrost setting to defrost the front and rear windows. If you wake up to your car covered in ice and snow, scrape off as much as you can on all sides.
- Get Proper Lighting. Make sure your headlights can be seen in the wintry conditions. Remove snow and ice. Some older models have sand-pitted headlights, which can be cured with a new set of lenses.
- Learn to Brake Properly. Learn how to properly use anti-lock brakes or how to properly brake for those with non-ABS cars. Pumping the brakes is old news and there are better techniques to slow down the vehicle.
- Watch out for black ice and learn the areas in your town where ice is likely to collect.
- Do not Over-steer. In some situations, continuing to steer the wheel after your car has lost traction may make the situation worse.
- Electronic Stability Control. ESC is required on all cars model years 2012 or later. ESC will help prevent cars from spinning on the road. Compliment this feature with tires with proper tread.
- Use Common Sense. As with the first recommendation, do not put false confidence in car technology. Ice is still tough to navigate and as of yet, no technology can overcome it.
This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not rely on the above information as all cases are different and different laws apply to different cases. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you were injured in an accident involving ice and snow please call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529.