The winter months bring many things: holidays, school vacation, cookies, winter sports, and car accidents. Some aspects of winter are cherished, while others – like the accidents – are to be avoided at all costs. There are plenty of steps you can take to avoid causing a crash while driving during the winter; however, collisions are bound to happen. When another driver is not paying attention or is driving recklessly, you may be the victim of an accident no matter how well you prepared for the conditions. If you are in a crash caused by another driver this winter, do not hesitate to seek legal advice.
The Ohio car accident lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick are here to help you with the hassles of insurance, and if necessary, file a personal injury claim on your behalf. Whatever your property damage and injuries, we are here to help you recover.
Safe Driving Tips for the Winter
To reduce the likelihood of a car accident this winter, you should:
- Winterize your car: By December, you should have given your vehicle a thorough once-over to make sure it is prepared for winter weather. If you have not checked your windshield wipers, fluids, and tire treads, do so immediately. Keeping your vehicle well maintained can help you avoid an accident or mitigate the damage if you are in a crash.
- Check your tire pressure: Keeping your tires at the proper air pressure helps maintain the right amount of traction on the road. If you have too little air in your tires – a common problem during the winter – there will be too much resistance, affecting your handling and braking distance. Too little pressure also causes irregular wear, overheating, and tire blowouts.
- Use chains or studded tires: Ohio allows drivers to use chains and tire studs between November 1 and April 1. You can purchase snow tires with studs or purchase studs or chains to put your own tires. These additions provide weight and traction when you have to drive through snow and ice. They often are not needed on urban streets that are plowed regularly and salted. However, if you have to drive through rural areas that rarely see a snow plow, you may need them to get to and from work and home.
- Use your headlights: In addition to using your headlights at night, you may want to keep them on during the day. Winter weather often means gray skies and poor visibility due to snow and rain. Your headlights increase the chance of other vehicles seeing you and of your seeing any problems that lay in your path.
- Obey the speed limit at all times: Winter is not the time to speed. You are likely to encounter rain, fog, snow, sleet and ice between November and February. Speeding during this conditions greatly increases your risk of an accident. If ever there was a time to obey the law and maintain a safe speed, winter is it.
- Drive slower than the limit if necessary: During the winter months, it is crucial that you tailor your speed to the weather and road conditions. If you are driving through a snowstorm on the highway, you are unlikely to go 65 mph. If you are dealing with wet roads and reduced visibility, your speed needs to be slow enough to allow you to stop quickly if there is an issue up ahead.
- Avoid slamming on the breaks: Sometimes you need your car to stop on a dime. However, when the road is wet or there is snow beneath your tires, your attempt to stop quickly results in your vehicle sliding. There is little you can do to fight momentum when you do not have enough traction between your tires and the road. Slamming on your brakes will only sending you sliding further. Instead, take your foot off the gas as soon as possible and slowly apply the brakes when you need to stop.
- Keep both hands on the wheel: After driving for years, it is easy to become complacent and keep one hand lightly on the wheel. However, you will be better able to respond to a hazard in the road if you have both hands on the wheel. Keeping both hands at the ready also decreases the chance of jerking the wheel to one side or over-correcting.
- Never jerk the steering wheel: When you are dealing with winter weather, you never want to make sudden movements or changes in your vehicle. A quick turn right or left can send your car spinning.
- Avoid distractions: You have enough to pay attention to you when you are driving during the winter. Do not let your mind, eyes, or hands wander from their immediate tasks. If you do, you are increasing your risk of causing an accident because you were not paying enough attention to the road and your surroundings.
- Not drive while tired: Drowsy driving is a major factor in many crashes. Add poor weather conditions on top of being tired and you have a recipe for disaster. Do your best to get plenty of sleep each day and avoid having to drive when you are overly tired.
Call Kisling, Nestico & Redick If You Need Help
No matter how ready you are for poor driving conditions, others on the road may not be so prepared. It is these careless and unprepared drivers who cause collisions and put you in the position of needing help. The Ohio car accident lawyers at KNR are ready to represent you after a car accident. We can investigate the situation and gather evidence of the other driver’s fault, file your insurance claims, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. If an insurance settlement is unavailable, we can help you hold the other driver directly responsible. We will do whatever is necessary to help you gain compensation for your injuries.
Call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule a consultation.