If you’ve ever driven in winter, then you probably already know how dangerous it is. Your driving skills are perpetually put to the test, plus it’s just scary.
With the heavy snowfall, blurred visibility, icy roads, and other treacherous driving conditions, you wouldn’t want to go out. Many road accidents occur during this season, and thousands of people often get hurt, with some losing their lives.
So, this isn’t just a mild hazard, it’s one you have to prepare for especially if you live in the colder regions. If you’ve already been involved in an accident, an attorney can help you deal with your case. California auto accidents attorneys will help you file your accident compensation claim.
But if you just want to learn how to drive safely and avoid road accidents, then here are some of the most common winter road accidents and how you can avoid them:
1. Spin Out Collisions
Because of the ice on the road, your car can easily spin out of control. During winter, it’s best to pay attention to your local (as well as your destination’s) weather forecast so that you would know what to expect in advance.
Once you’re updated, you may postpone your journey if the weather promises to be particularly harsh. It’s not advisable to venture out in heavy snow, your driving skills can only take you so far. If the weather promises to be at least manageable, then you can proceed to drive as cautiously as you can.
If you get caught in a situation where your car is spinning out of control on ice, hitting your brakes will not be of much help due to the lack of friction on the road. Your best bet will be ‘going with the flow.’ Trying to resist the direction of your car’s skid will likely be more detrimental, so steer in the direction your car is already going. By aligning your front wheels with your rear wheels, you’re straightening the vehicle’s direction.
While you’re trying to regain control of your vehicle, it’s also advised to turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights so that other drivers will know that you’ve lost control of your car.
In general, try to take slow turns on slippery roads and reduce your overall speed to avoid losing control.
2. Rear-End Car Crashes
In the midst of panic, you might think of hitting your brakes unconsciously; however, if you do, you’re just adding danger to your situation by increasing the risk of having other cars crashing into you due to your unexpected braking.
Another possibility is that you might have misjudged the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, leading you to hit those brakes, further lose control, and smash into the vehicle.
Since you already know you’re driving in hazardous terrain during snowy weather, it’s important to take caution while driving. Make sure the space between you and the following car isn’t tight. Allow about a one-car distance between you and the car ahead of you. That way, should something happen, you have space to try to maneuver your vehicle back to safety without putting yourself and other drivers in danger.
Driving slowly will also help reduce the likelihood of you slamming on your brakes when your vehicle starts sliding.
3. Lane Drifting Accidents
Winter driving comes with a lot of challenges. The issue of decreased visibility is one. Trying to drive and stay in your lane when the roads are covered in snow is hard enough. Add in the snowstorms and fog that make it difficult to see more than a few feet ahead of you, and you have the worse driving condition possible.
Drifting into the wrong lane is highly probable and if you do, your chances of hitting another car increase. The act of clipping another vehicle could cause you or them to skid.
To this accident, you’ll need to use your spatial cognition to keep a safe lane distance despite not seeing the lines. Cars that have driven before you may leave tracks, and your best bet is to follow those as you drive. Getting out of these tracks could result in you hitting black ice that might lead to a spin-out.
Driving during winter can be challenging and dangerous. Some specific types of accidents become more likely in these weather conditions than others. If you’re driving during winter, you need to know how to navigate and maneuver out of these accidents. The tips given in this article will help you fare better on these rather brutal winter roads!