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Extra Care Needed to Avoid Winter Car Accidents

Auto accident at night

By Jim Greene

on December 09, 2010

Whether winter brings ice and snow where you live, or just a season of rain in an otherwise dry year, driving can become more dangerous. A few simple precautions can help you avoid a winter car accident.

Step one when winter approaches is to get your car ready. In some parts of the country, that means snow tires for extra traction. If you don’t live where snow tires are recommended, but may want or need to travel to the snow, it’s important to have snow chains on hand.

Visibility is crucial in both snow and rain. Make sure your wiper blades are fresh and your headlights lenses are clean. Remember to clean the film off the inside of your windshield and windows, to reduce fogging them when you use your heater.

Be Sure Battery is Ready for Cold Starts

Don’t get stuck out in the cold with a car that won’t start. Starting your car becomes more difficult as the temperature goes down, so check your battery as winter approaches.

Avoiding winter car accidents calls for more conservative driving habits, especially when ice or snow on the road reduces traction. Avoid rapid acceleration and braking, as well as quick turns, any of which can break your traction. Plan for a longer stopping distance than in milder weather.

Slick roads can occur even where it never snows. Winter rains in an area that is normally dry will bring oil up from the road surface, temporarily reducing traction nearly as much as ice. Although the highest danger passes once the oil is rinsed away, even a shallow layer of water on the road surface can still interfere with proper tire grip.

Winter Lighting Conditions Can Cause Problems

Finally, keep in mind that light conditions are less favorable during the winter. As the days get shorter, we drive more in reduced light or in darkness. As the sun traverses lower in the sky, we spend more time driving into and out of shadows. Both conditions require extra caution.

Whatever the season, if you are involved in a traffic accident, contact an experienced attorney. Whether you’re dealing with insurance companies or facing your day in court, you need someone on your side to fight for your rights. Insurance companies thrive by paying out as little as possible, and other parties in an accident will be looking out for themselves. You need to do the same.

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