When hitting the roads this winter, you need to be mindful of the road conditions.
As over 70 percent of America’s roads are in snowy regions, that can significantly increase the chances of a car accident.
In addition, 24% of weather-related vehicle crashes happen in the snow, and 1,300 people are killed due to driving in these conditions. Due to these conditions, there are increased maintenance costs due to the weather.
Although there are a number of factors that you can’t control when you drive, there is one aspect of your driving that you can focus on. And that is your defensive driving skills.
So how can you be the best defensive driver that you can this holiday season? Let’s find out.
Be Prepared and Understand the Risks
In most cases, especially during the summer, you might be able to get away with holding off on certain aspects of your vehicle maintenance. These may include maintenance that is not as urgent such as fixing your axel or changing your tires if they are getting old.
But during the winter, the negligence that you have when it comes to fixing your car can be life-changing.
If you choose not to get your tires replaced or buy the necessary tools that you might need during the wintertime, that can result in exorbitant car repair costs if you get into an accident.
Due to these potential circumstances, you need to plan in advance what you are going to do. This means planning for long road trips, getting adequate rest, and knowing what to do if your car breaks down.
Minimize Your Distractions
Lower your distractions. Period.
Phone calls, texting while driving, doing your makeup, trying to grab your water bottle. All of it. Just don’t do it. Especially during the winter.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 3,142 fatalities that happened from distracted driving accidents in 2022. In addition, 8% of fatal car accidents happen due to distracted driving.
Here are some tips to avoid this habit:
- Put your phone in a Hard-to-reach place
- Use a Hands-Free Device, such as Apple Carplay
- Keep your eyes on the road at all times
So please do whatever you can to stay safe and not be a distracted driver.
Maintain a Safe Following Distance
In most driving schools across America, you are taught the three second rule.
This rule is a guideline that states that all drivers should leave at least a three second distance between their own vehicle and the car they are following. If anything, most people forget this rule years after driving school which therefore, leads to even more accidents, especially during the winter.
To leave a safe following distance, keep in mind how much time you would need to stop and avoid an accident. So if a driver comes to a sudden stop, you have three seconds to react.
And if you don’t have enough space, you won’t have enough time to react, which will likely lead to an accident, especially in dangerous winter conditions.
Giving yourself space to the driver in front of you can also help you inspect potentially dangerous road hazards. For example, if you see snow all over the road, you can plan accordingly and find a method to move around it.
Respect Traffic Laws and Know What To Do If You Get Hit
Obey the law. It’s simple, especially when it comes to driving.
When driving during the wintertime, be mindful of local traffic laws, speed limits, and road conditions. If you may suspect that the roads are dangerous, pull to the side of the road and wait until conditions get better.
If not, spend the night at a local motel. It’s more worth it to wait or potentially get into a deadly wreck. But what do you do if you get into a wreck?
Depending on the circumstances, you might need to get medical attention or a tow truck, but one of the most important steps is to call a trusted Kent car accident lawyer.
An attorney can help you fight for the highest compensation that you deserve from the insurance company, while looking out for your rights in the process.
Be Safe On The Roads This Winter
In summary, you can stay safe on the roads this winter by:
- Being prepared and understanding the risks
- Minimizing Your Distractions
- Maintaining A Safe Following Distance
- Respecting Traffic Laws
- Knowing What To Do If You Get Into An Accident
By following all of these steps, you can be better prepared for driving on the roads and knowing what you are getting into. Just remember, it is up to you to stay safe while driving this winter.