Preparing for Winter-Weather Driving in Virginia

According to national data, it rains or snows in Virginia at least 110 days every year. Unfortunately, this also means a higher risk of being involved in a car accident during those bad weather days. In fact, it is estimated that there are more than 7,000 people killed every year in weather-related vehicle accidents, with more than half-million additional victims injured. Understanding how snow and rain affect road conditions can help drivers avoid crashing.

Winter Is Coming

Winter is due to arrive this month, and this means now is the perfect time to winterize your vehicle. Many vehicle owners prefer to use snow tires during the winter months since they do a better job at gripping snowy and icy roads. Even if you prefer to leave on all-season tires, now is a good time to make sure all your tires are properly inflated, and the tread quality is safe.

This is also a good time to check both your windshield wipers to ensure they are not frayed or torn and are in good working order, as well as washer fluid. Snow and ice can cause quite the mess on the roads and that mess often ends up on vehicle windshields, requiring a good dash of washer fluid to clear off. Having good quality wipers is also important to visibility, especially in bad weather, in order to avoid crashing.

Adjust Driving Behaviors in Bad Weather

Although drivers should practice good driving practices at all times, there are certain things to remember when you are driving in snowy or rainy weather. Keep in mind that the rain that hits the road can mix with any oil sitting on the pavement. This can cause the road to become very slippery, making stopping quickly difficult. Snowy or icy roads also mean slippery surfaces. Leaving extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you and decreasing your speed can help avoid a crash.

Heavy rains usually cause flooding and/or standing water on streets and roads and this increases the risk of hydroplaning, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Tires can lose contact with the road even in a vehicle traveling less than 35 mph. Braking hard and taking sharp turns increase the risk of hydroplaning even more. This can also happen when snow begins to melt.

In addition to driving slower, there are several other steps drivers can take in bad weather. Make sure to allow yourself enough time to arrive at your destination, even if it means leaving earlier than usual. Even if it is during the day, make sure your headlights are at all times. This not only can help you to see better but also lets other drivers see your vehicle. Never use your vehicle’s cruise control option in bad weather. The acceleration factor of that system on a slippery area of the road can result in a crash.

Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions we take, there are always negligent drivers on the road who ignore the dangerous hazards of driving in bad weather and do not take the same precautions. If you are injured in a crash caused by another driver, a Virginia car accident attorney can assist you in obtaining financial compensation for any losses you have suffered as a result of those injuries. These losses include medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, permanent disability, scarring, and more.

Contact the legal team from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp today to set up a free and confidential case evaluation.