With the winter season upon us, it is important for drivers in New York to be aware of the risks of winter weather. Driving in bad weather comes with a number of unique challenges involved, and it is important to remember that even if you can drive safely, this will not necessarily be the case for everyone else on the road.
So, what can you do to reduce your risk of being involved in an accident this winter? Here are five winter weather driving tips from the auto accident lawyers at Dreyer Boyajian LLP:
Get your vehicle serviced, and make sure your tires and brakes are in a condition to withstand the additional rigors of driving in cold temperatures. Make sure you have a scraper, brush, and shovel (it is a good idea to keep at least one of these in the main cabin of your vehicle, just in case your trunk gets frozen shut), and put jumper cables, flares, and a bag of environmentally friendly cat litter (for traction) in your vehicle as well.
It is also a good idea to have a basic emergency kit. The New York Thruway Authority recommends including, at minimum, “blankets, gloves, hats, food, water, flashlight with batteries, and any needed medication.”
If the road conditions are poor or there is a chance of winter weather, check the forecast and local traffic report before you leave. If there is a chance that you could get stuck in bad weather, or if you could end up sitting in traffic for hours while the conditions continue to worsen, consider staying home for the time being.
While you should always drive within your limits, this is especially important when the conditions start to deteriorate. If you do not have experience or are not comfortable driving in snow, then practice in an empty parking lot before you go out on busy public roads.
When in doubt, play it safe. Wait until the conditions improve.
When driving in snow or ice, it is important to slow down and brake gently when you need to stop. Sudden acceleration, braking, and changes in direction can all cause your vehicle to lose traction.
Additionally, you should leave extra space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Not only will this give you more stopping distance, but it will also give you more time to make an evasive maneuver if you encounter an emergency scenario.
No matter how safely you drive, you cannot protect against the risk of someone else making poor decisions on the road. As a result, when driving in winter weather, consistently be on the lookout for dangerous drivers.
If you see someone driving recklessly, or if another driver appears to be distracted behind the wheel, drive defensively and do what you can to stay out of harm’s way.
Unfortunately, even if you drive safely, you could still end up being involved in a weather-related auto accident this winter. If this happens, here is what you should do:
It is in your best interest to contact an auto accident lawyer as soon as possible after being injured in a crash. An attorney can pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
For more than 30 years, Dreyer Boyajian LLP has been serving clients in auto accident cases. We have achieved significant verdicts and settlements in claims involving a host of different factors.
Please call (518) 463-7784 today for a free case review. Our auto accident lawyers serve clients in Albany, Troy, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs, and other areas of the Capital District in New York.