If you have to get out, prepare for driving on winter roads

Though the holiday season is winding down, the winter weather is here to stay in Missouri for some time. You may not mind the cold and enjoy the occasional snowfall, but you undoubtedly know that winter weather is not always the stark beauty that it can be. In fact, having to drive in winter weather can present plenty of hazards.

Though the best way to avoid a car accident due to inclement weather is to stay off the road, that option is not always feasible due to certain obligations. As a result, you need to get behind the wheel and travel the roads, which may understandably make you a bit nervous. Fortunately, you can help yourself increase your safety when having to get out.

Understanding hazards

As you certainly already know, icy roads present the biggest danger to those having to travel by car. Often, the weather will become wet and rainy, and even if there is no snow, the freezing temperatures can cause wet roadways to become covered in ice. In particular, black ice poses a substantial hazard because it is so difficult to see. The road may simply appear wet, but in fact, a layer of ice has formed.

Unfortunately, many drivers may not notice the black ice until their vehicles begin to slide. When this happens, it can be immensely difficult to get a vehicle back under control.

Tips for driving safely

If you do have to get out on potentially treacherous roadways, you may find it useful to remember the following driving tips:

  • Give yourself more time to get to your destination.
  • Slow down. Driving fast on icy roads increases the likelihood of losing control.
  • Avoid sudden braking. If you slam on your brakes, your vehicle may slide on the ice.
  • Leave extra space between your vehicles and others.
  • Give yourself more time to stop. It takes 3 times more space to stop on icy roads.
  • Watch for icy areas. Bridges, shaded areas and overpasses often ice before other parts of the road and may stay icy longer.
  • Make sure your windows and windshield are free from ice and snow. Trying to drive before the windows have defrosted can impede your vision.

While these tips can certainly help give you an advantage on the road, remember that you may need to take other actions to stay safe. Additionally, it is important to remember that other drivers may not take winter driving safety as seriously as they should. In the event that another driver causes a serious accident that leaves you injured, you may want to consider your legal options for seeking compensation.

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