How Best To Avoid a Car Accident in Winter
Wintertime is upon us and whilst it is beautiful when the snow falls and the frosty evenings come in, it can cause absolute havoc on the roads. I can attest to this as 2 years ago I was involved in an accident with a drunk driver, that left me in hospital over christmas. I was fortunate enough to find a great lawyer who ensured that I got justice, but the situation should never have happened in the first place.
Ever since that accident, I have really changed the way I approach driving in winter and I think that everyone else should too. I also ensure that I keep a supply of de-icing materials on standby (details here) for when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Accidents can happen and there is no way of completely avoiding them, but by using these tips, you can do your best to stay away from trouble.
Is It Necessary?
Before we even get on to driving styles, the best way to avoid a road accident is to not be on the road at all. When the harsh weather conditions take hold, you should be asking yourself how necessary your journey really is. If you don’t absolutely have to go out and drive, don’t. You may find it of benefit to take a weather station with you on your journeys. It’s a good option to consider as your phone may not always have reception or battery. A weather station, like those that can be found on sites like Kestrelmet.com, offers a convenient and reliable way to monitor weather conditions accurately, enabling you to make better decisions with your travel plans.
One of the best pieces of advice which I’ve received about other drivers, something which is particularly pertinent during the winter months, is that you should drive whilst making the assumption that everyone else on the road is a fool who cannot drive well. If you drive with this assumption in your mind then you will immediately be more cautious and more expectant of others making a mistake.
During winter you will need to radically alter your driving style in order to best avoid running in to difficulties. With ice, salt and grit on the roads, plus poorer visibility, you simply cannot drive in the way that you usually do. And so during the winter months you should be doubling your braking distances to give fair warning to those around you, you should drive much slower and not make any sudden movements such as lane changes. Equally, you should give other road users a wide berth when tailing them, just in case they have not altered their driving style like you have. Driving at high speeds in the snow and ice is a surefire way to get into an accident, so manage your speed, corner slowly, brake early and do all that you can to avoid an accident.
The final piece of advice is to have your car thoroughly checked over by a mechanic before the winter sets in. Very often accidents are caused because people are driving with bald tires or because their brakes aren’t up to scratch. Equally you will of course want to avoid a break down during the winter months, or any kind of car failure which could result in an accident. For a small price, and a short amount of time, you can get the green light that your car is fit for purpose, and make sure that you are far safer from shock index on the roads.