As Winter weather makes the roads more dangerous, it’s a good time to review ways to stay safe. Make sure your car contains some salt, a small shovel, flares, a blanket, jumper cables in case of emergency. Make sure your car is well maintained, and has proper snow (or all season-tread) tires.
With many extra errands and places to go over the holidays, many people can be tempted to speed, weave in and out of lanes to try to save time. Keep this in mind: will it matter if you saved a few minutes if you end up hurt and in an emergency room for hours?
When driving in ice or snowy conditions, it’s important to leave a substantial amount of space between you and the car in front of you. A general guideline is to use the six-second rule, meaning that when the car in front of you passes a fixed point in the road, it should take you six seconds before you pass that same point. Yes, this might seem too much, but it will prevent a potential auto accident if the car in front of you suddenly stops, and it takes you longer than anticipated to slow down. If you are the one who’s being tailgated too closely by the car behind you, change lanes to avoid the potential danger of this driver. During the winter, it’s important to relax your driving, avoid rushing and give others their space.
For some, driving with cruise control has become almost second nature, as it can help prevent leg fatigue and can keep you from unwittingly speeding. However, utilizing cruise control in harsh conditions can be unsafe, as a car accident lawyer can attest. During the winter months, attempt to make a conscious effort to ensure that you are not using it when driving in snow, ice or hail. If your car skids while cruise control is activated, it may continue to accelerate and rapidly spin the wheels in an attempt to maintain the selected constant speed. This is extremely dangerous and can make it more likely for you to lose control of your car.
Distracted driving has been shown to be as risky as driving under the influence of alcohol. Avoid both by putting cell phones away and take a taxi or Uber when you’ve been celebrating with alcohol this holiday season.