Drivers need to take extra caution when driving in winter weather. Last week, a snow storm hit Colorado Springs with snow fall totaling around 7″ to 10″. The storm caused many personal injury accidents due to treacherous road conditions.
Snow, sleet, or ice, we all have responsibilities, whether it’s going to work or making it to the grocery store for a gallon of milk. To stay safe while driving in wintry weather, Heuser & Heuser, LLP, recommend the following safety tips:
- Start Clean: Completely clear snow and ice off your windows, lights, windshield, and top of your car. This way you can avoid hitting cars behind you with huge patches of snow, which puts them in danger. Keeping your windshield clean from ice and snow is extremely important in harsh conditions! When you don’t have a clear view of the road ahead of you, you are drastically increasing your risk of getting into an accident.
- Put Your Lights On: Before heading out, turn your lights on to increase visibility.
- Slow Down: Remember, posted speed limits are for dry pavement. Decrease your speed significantly when on icy and snowy roads.
- Look Ahead of You: Watch the traffic well-ahead for extra reaction time. Keep your distance to allow for safe stopping!
- Stay Away: Stay well-behind maintenance vehicles like snowplows and sand trucks. Never pass them – they are there to help you!
- Pick a Lane: Stop swerving in and out of lanes. It’s dangerous in treacherous conditions. There is usually a snow ridge between the lanes that could cause you to swerve and lose control.
- Brake Early to Avoid Skidding: It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
- Watch for Signs: Watch for signs alerting you or slippery bridges and other areas prone to freezing.
- Stay in Control: Never use cruise control or overdrive in wintry conditions.
- Avoid Making Assumptions: Do not assume that your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel drive and front-wheel drive vehicles encounter trouble on winter roads.