Winter is right around the corner and even though North Carolina doesn’t have the kind of winter weather like other parts of the country, we still have our fair share of inclement weather. There are many weather conditions that can affect roads and operating vehicles safely during the winter months, including sleet, snow, ice, freezing rain, and fog. According to national statistics, about 5,000 people are killed and more than 400,000 are injured every year in bad weather driving accidents. The following tips are important to keep in mind to help reduce your chance of being injured in a car accident this winter.
When you find yourself driving in bad weather, it is important to slow down your speed and take your time driving. In inclement weather, it can often be dangerous to drive even at the posted speed limit. So even if you are running behind schedule, slow it down to a safe speed that is conducive to the weather conditions you are driving in. Many people don’t realize it, but if the roads are wet or icy, it actually takes longer for you to bring your vehicle to a stop. Not only that, if visibility is poor because of the weather conditions, driving at a higher rate of speed can mean you won’t see what is in front of you and be able to stop in time.
It is also important to maintain extra distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, again allowing yourself enough time to slow down or stop should the vehicle in front stop suddenly. It also gives you more time to react should that vehicle suddenly begin to skid on the icy road.
Driving in Snowy Weather
When it is snowing or has snowed, make sure to check your brakes a few times when you first begin your drive. This is important to do in order to maintain traction and see just how much control you have of the vehicle, especially if plows have not been on the roads yet. Make sure to maintain a slow and steady speed, trying to avoid braking or turning as much as possible. If you do have to slow down, it is better to ease up off your accelerator gradually rather than hitting the brake pedal. If you do have to use your brake, alternate pressing and releasing the brake rapidly in order to prevent the brakes from locking in the snow.
Driving in Icy Weather
Driving in icy conditions can be very dangerous and it is often best to stay off the roads if possible. If you must drive, then make sure to keep a steady speed. Make any accelerations, braking, and turns gradually. If you are driving over any bridges or roads that are elevated, remember that these areas freeze faster, making them even more dangerous and putting you at an even higher risk of a serious crash. If your vehicle begins to skid, it is critical not to panic and brake hard. The safest way to come out of a skid is to take your foot off the brake and steer the vehicle away from any dangerous areas. Never accelerate the vehicle until you have regained control and are off the icy area.
Contact Our Office Today
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of another party’s negligent or reckless actions while behind the wheel, contact a North Carolina car accident attorney from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn. It is critical to remember that North Carolina has placed a statute of limitations on how long victims have to file a claim for damages against those responsible for their injuries, so do not delay. Failure to file before that legal deadline could mean you lose any chance of ever filing your claim or getting justice against the person responsible for you or your loved one’s injuries.
Contact our office today at 800-752-0042 to set up a free and confidential case evaluation with one of our dedicated North Carolina accident attorneys.