Connecticut Winter Driving Tips
Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jan 08, 2016 in Car Accidents
After a mild December, Connecticut is starting to dip into freezing temperatures again. With people returning to work and school after the holiday season, it is a good time to review winter safe driving practices.
Driving in snow and ice brings additional challenges and safety risk for motorists. Decreased visibility, damage to roads and inexperienced drivers on the road all make for dangerous conditions.
Dangers of Winter Driving
- Ice and black ice – When roads are covered with ice, sleet, or even densely packed snow, the traction on your tires will not be very effective. Tires tend to spin, and even when they have stopped moving, your car can still slide forward due to momentum. Black ice can be deceptive, as it only appears like a wet road. If there is ice on the road, give yourself more stopping distance and avoid accelerating or decelerating too quickly. If your car begins to skid or spin out, take your foot of the gas and turn your steering wheel in the opposite direction of the spin.
- Poor visibility – Heavy snowfall and blowing snow can make it very difficult to see what's in front of you, or behind you. You may have to slow to a crawl to be safe, or pull over entirely and wait for the snow to stop. Make sure you have your headlights on when there is any precipitation or visibility is reduced.
- Bad road conditions – Aside from ice, the freezing process tends to damage roads, leaving large potholes in them. Snow piled up on the side of the road can also block shoulder access.
- Hill dangers- Hills can be especially problematic in winter driving conditions. Get some inertia on flat ground before going uphill, but avoid accelerating while climbing, as your tires will spin. When going downhill, reduce your speed and lightly apply the brakes to keep from going too fast.
Preparing Your Car
In addition to changes to your driving style, you should have your car tuned up and prepared for winter driving conditions.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated, keep your gas tank at least half-filled at all times, use the correct tire type and have your fluids checked. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to idle your engine for several minutes before driving.
If conditions are severe, remember to check the weather reports and school or event closings before heading out to avoid any unnecessary travel.
As always, buckle your safety belt, pay attention to the road, put away your cell phone and do not drink and drive.
Even the safest drivers can fall victim to another driver's negligence. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in a collision, contact the Waterbury car accident lawyers at D'Amico & Pettinicchi today. Our injury attorneys can help you recover the compensation you are entitled to.