As it gets cold in the winter, road hazards increase. Snow, blizzard conditions, sleet, ice, black ice — all can be dangerous and even fatal on our New York and New Jersey highways.
Prepare Your Car and Watch Weather Reports
To stay safe this winter, be sure your car is prepared for winter. Have antifreeze checked regularly. Make sure your tires are in good condition.
Keep de-icer in your vehicle in case of sleet or ice.
After a snow or ice storm, make sure that you have thoroughly removed snow and ice from your car. You need good visibility during the winter, so clear windshields and windows are essential. You also need to ensure that snow and ice from your car don’t blow onto other motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians. Don’t neglect clearing snow and ice from your exhaust pipe. A blocked exhaust pipe can be dangerous.
Dress warmly while driving in the winter, with heavy shoes and wool socks.
If you’re planning on traveling, even to the local mall, pay attention to the weather reports. If heavy snow or sleet is forecast, it may be safer to stay home. Even the most efficient snow removal crews can’t remove snow and sleet as it’s falling. The roads will be hazardous if inclement, cold winter weather is forecast.
Dangers of Winter Driving
If you can’t stay home, or are traveling and a winter storm begins, drive as safely as possible using these tips.
1. Driving in Snow and Sleet
If it begins to snow, slow down. Snow or sleet, whether it’s a blizzard or not, will impact your visibility. Use your windshield wipers at the most efficient speed.
It can take cars 10 times as long to stop in snow or ice as it does in dry conditions. Keep an appropriate distance between your car and other vehicles.
If visibility and driving conditions are severely impacted, consider pulling over to a hotel and staying until the weather clears.
2. Driving on Ice
On ice, too, drive very slowly. Steer cautiously. Don’t turn abruptly, as it can prompt a skid.
When you need to stop, brake slowly. Slow the car down when you are approaching a stop sign or signal. Shift into lower gears to let your vehicle stop as slowly as possible.
Cars can skid in snow, sleet, ice, and black ice. Black ice can be particularly treacherous, of course, since it isn’t visible.
If your car starts to skid, don’t panic. Don’t slam on the brakes — this can make your car fishtail or go off the road. Don’t increase your speed either.
Steer slowly in the direction of the skid. Look at where you want to go, not where you’re skidding to. Brake slowly.
Contact an Attorney Experienced in Car Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured or even killed in a winter weather vehicle accident, please contact our law firm to discuss your rights.
The NY & NJ car accident attorneys at KGG have years of experience in train, vehicle and pedestrian accidents. We will be happy to meet you at our Rockland County, New York, or Bergen County, New Jersey offices. The consultation is complimentary, and there is never any obligation. We charge no fees unless we win your case. Call us today to see how much your case is worth.
Additional “Winter Driving Hazards” Resources:
- Automobile Association of America (AAA). AAA Exchange. Driving Advice. Winter Driving Tips. http://exchange.aaa.com/safety/driving-advice/winter-driving-tips/
- Hall-Geisler, Kristen. How to Steer Out of a Skid. How Stuff Works. https://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/accidents-hazardous-conditions/how-to-steer-out-of-skid3.htm