Heavy rain, snow, and black ice make the roads particularly dangerous during the winter, resulting in a higher risk for a serious accident. Even the most experienced, skilled driver can easily find themselves in an accident in winter road conditions, but there are a number of things that you can watch for in order to reduce your risk.
Winter Road Accident Risks
Many people do not realize how much they should slow down their driving in winter conditions. Take it slow and give yourself extra time to get to your destination so that you don’t find yourself feeling like you have to rush.
Not only do fog, snow, and rain make for poor visibility on the road, but many people drive with even poorer visibility in the winter because they do not clear all of their vehicle’s windows thoroughly. Car windows often get caked with ice and snow in the winter, and it is tempting to only clear some areas of your windows, but it is crucial to clear all of your windows completely before you drive so that you can see as well as possible.
For your safety and the safety of other drivers, it is recommended that you switch to winter tires for driving in snow and ice, especially if you live in an area where you would normally expect a lot of snow. You’re less likely to slide on the road because all season tires can begin to lose their elasticity and grip on the road at temperatures below 7°C, according to Transport Canada.
Although winter tires are not mandatory in B.C., keep in mind that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure can designate them to be required on certain roads and highways. This typically happens during the fall and winter months in northern B.C. and the southern Interior.
When roads are slippery due to ice, sleet, or snow, we need more distance in order to stop fully. Always keep this in mind when you are driving behind another vehicle. You should always give the vehicle in front of you enough space so that if you have to stop unexpectedly you will have the space to do so safely.
Fishtailing when braking is a major cause of winter road accidents. It is important to know your vehicle’s braking system and how it responds. Generally speaking, if you have to stop suddenly in slippery conditions it is best to gradually press the brakes; however, ABI and anti-lock braking systems are different and it is better to hit the brake more quickly.
To keep yourself and others safe, it is essential to take every precaution that you can to reduce the risks of winter driving. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury in a road accident this winter, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer at Hoogbruin & Company today to determine your best next steps.