For people living in DC and its environs, 2014 started with a massive storm that hit the East Coast. Even though the snow accumulation around DC wasn’t comparable to the build-up in places such as Boston, similar problems exist along the coast, including roads made slippery by ice, snow and slush.
Now is a good time to review some basic winter safety driving tips, to minimize the chances you’ll experience a car crash because of adverse weather conditions.
Basic vehicle maintenance. It’s going to be more difficult to maneuver your car on the roads when they’re in poor condition, so it’s important that you get your car inspected for various issues that will put you at a higher risk for an accident. These include brakes that aren’t functioning optimally and tires that don’t have sufficient traction.
Don’t speed. It’s never a good idea to speed, but with patches of ice on the road you’ll have an even more difficult time maintaining control of your vehicle. And if there’s a storm or fog, the poor visibility will also give you less of a chance to perceive and react to other people and things on the road.
Put enough space between yourself and others. With slippery roads, you’ll need more space to brake or to correct the direction of your car if it starts to veer too much to the side. Don’t drive too closely behind or alongside other vehicles if you can help it. Also, make sure you aren’t coming up too close next to bikes and pedestrians along the side of the road as well.
Don’t underestimate poor road conditions. Even on a sunny, relatively warmer day, there may be patches of ice, including black ice, that could put you and others in serious danger.
Be prepared. In case you do get into an accident or your car breaks down and leaves you stranded, be sure you have a way to contact emergency personnel. Also keep some supplies in your car, such as food and blankets, in case you’re stuck for a while.
If you’re involved in an accident, don’t hesitate to contact a DC attorney who concentrates his practice on accidents. But hopefully, with some extra caution and preventative measures taken on the road, you’ll avoid an accident in poor winter weather.
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