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Safe Driving Tips for the Winter Season

Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Dec 20, 2018 in Car Accidents

driving on snow-covered roadAlthough many people look forward to the winter season, inclement weather and increased holiday traffic can make roadways dangerous in Connecticut. To stay safe while driving during winter weather, it is vital that motorists take several precautions to avoid being involved in a car accident.

Below are several safety tips for you and your loved ones to follow while driving on Connecticut roadways during the winter season. If you are injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, contact D’Amico & Pettinicchi to discuss your right to pursue compensation. Our New Haven auto accident lawyers will provide you a free, no obligation consultation to review your claim and help you determine if you have a case against the at-fault driver.

Maintain Your Vehicle for the Winter Season

Make sure your vehicle is well maintained and able to handle harsh winter weather conditions. If you plan on traveling for the holidays, be sure to take your vehicle to an auto mechanic to run a check-up on your vehicle’s:

  • Headlights
  • Brake lights
  • Tires
  • Brake system
  • Heating system
  • Airbags
  • Engine
  • Suspension system

There are also several check-ups you can make on your vehicle at home. This includes clearing your exhaust pipe of snow and ice. This may help to prevent dangerous levels of carbon monoxide from entering your vehicle’s cabin.

Likewise, remember to fill your windshield washer system with deicing fluid and routinely check all other fluid levels. Replace broken or worn windshield wipers and check to see if the wipers are properly working before driving.

Furthermore, keep your gas tank half full throughout the winter to prevent your vehicle’s gas line from freezing or accumulating ice.

Clear Your Vehicle of Snow and Ice  

Before you start driving, remove all ice and snow from the outside of your vehicle. This includes any ice or snow gathered on your vehicle’s:

  • Windows
  • Roof
  • Hood
  • Windshield
  • Mirrors

Try to keep an ice scraper in your vehicle to make it easier to clear off strong ice or heavy snow buildup from your vehicle’s windows. This will help you increase your visibility on the roadway and clearly see any vehicles traveling near you. 

Avoid Rush Hour Traffic

Rush hour traffic can be more hazardous in the winter, so avoid driving during these hours if possible. In the event of a winter storm, road cleanup crews will need time to clear the roadway of dangerous hazards, including accumulated mass of snow and ice.

As roads are covered in ice and snow, increased rush hour traffic can increase the risk of an auto accident. To avoid being involved in a car accident, talk to your employer about shifting your work hours or working from home for the day. This may eliminate your need to drive in rush hour traffic after a heavy winter storm.

Prepare for Hazardous Road Conditions

Remember to check local weather reports and updates on road conditions before you begin to drive. This will help you know what to expect and prepare for hazardous road conditions.

Likewise, pay attention to the outside temperature before driving. If weather reports project freezing or below freezing temperatures, prepare to encounter ice on the roadway. Black ice, or ice patches that form on roads, is often difficult to notice and can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Try to drive slowly on roads, bridges and in shady areas where ice and snow have accumulated.  

Stay Focused and Drive Defensively

As always, you should avoid distractions while driving during winter weather. This includes refraining from engaging in common forms of distraction like using your cellphone, eating or drinking, or interacting with passengers while driving.

Also, drive defensively when traveling through inclement winter weather. You should be aware of your surroundings, including other motorists driving near you. Allow plenty of space between your vehicle and other cars sharing the roadway to ensure you have enough time to react to roadway hazards or changes in traffic.

Have an Emergency Kit Ready

Motorists should consider preparing an emergency kit for the winter season. Your kit should contain anything you may need during an emergency, such as getting stuck outside during a severe winter storm. Some of your emergency kits’ contents may include:

  • Flashlight
  • Heat sources
  • Road flares
  • Blankets
  • Non-perishable food
  • An extra cellphone and charger
  • Water
  • Shovel for digging out snow and ice
  • Lighter or matches
  • Ice pick or scraper
  • Jumper cables

Travel on Main Roads

After a severe winter storm, major roads, highways and interstates will likely be cleared first of snow, ice and other hazards. Likewise, emergency broadcast stations will be quicker to update motorists on major roads after a storm, including whether the road is closed, is covered with snow or ice, or is experiencing heavy traffic buildup.

Contact Our Experienced Attorneys for a Free Review of Your Claim

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident this winter, consider reaching out to an attorney to discuss your legal options to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver.

D’Amico & Pettinicchi’s personal injury lawyers have helped numerous victims of car accidents. We know what it takes to pursue a claim to recover the compensation you need for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis and will represent you at no upfront cost. Our attorneys only get paid if you recover compensation after your accident.

Call (866) 848-7077 to find out if you have a case.