In Detroit, Warren and Sterling Heights, the winter months can lead to wet pavement, slush and ice on the ground and reduced visibility. A personal injury lawyer knows that these and other bad weather conditions can significantly increase the risk of a motor vehicle collision occurring.
Drivers need to be aware of the added risks associated with winter driving and should do everything that they can to try to reduce the chances that an accident will happen. AAA has some winter safe driving tips that drivers should follow to help keep themselves and other motorists on the road safe.
Safe Winter Driving Tips
AAA recommends that drivers do a number of different things to try to avoid the increased risk of winter driving collisions. Drivers should:
- Make sure they slow down. You cannot accelerate or decelerate as fast in the winter because there is a risk of losing traction and starting to skid. You should make sure you drive at a speed appropriate to weather conditions, recognizing that it also takes longer for your vehicle to safely stop.
- Know how to brake safely. Slamming on the brakes increases the chance that you will lose control of your vehicle and cause a collision. Drivers who have antilock brakes should keep their heel on the ground and should carefully brake by using the ball of the foot to apply firm and steady pressure.
- Increase the following distance. You can normally allow for a three to four second following distance between your own vehicle and the car that is in front of you. This means when the lead car passes a fixed object, you should pass that same object between three and four seconds later. In the winter, because of the longer stopping time, you should increase the following distance to between eight and 10 seconds in order to ensure you have time to react to what the car in front of you does.
- Keep an eye on the weather reports before going out. If the weather looks like it will be very bad, then you may wish to think about postponing all but the most essential trips. It is especially important to check the weather if you are going to be traveling to a place that is more isolated. There is a greater chance that empty roads will not be plowed or cleared. There will also be no one around to help you if something bad happens.
- Keep the gas tank at least half full. If you get caught in bad weather or behind other cars that have been in an accident, it will take you a lot longer to get home. You don't want to run out of gas because you are stuck in traffic. Keeping your gas tank at least half full will also allow you to ensure the gas lines do not freeze.
These are just a few of the key things that you should to try to ensure that you are safe during the winter. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that around 23 percent of motor vehicle crashes are weather related. Don't let yourself become a victim.
A Detroit accident lawyer can help victims in the city and surrounding suburbs including Warren and Sterling Heights. Contact Fraser & Souweidane P.C. at (866) 465-9095 or visit www.fsattorneys.com to schedule a free consultation.