Car Accidents and Bad Weather: Staying Safe in Poor Conditions

Bad weather conditions lead to thousands of car accidents every year. Rain, snow, and fog have all been linked to fatal car accidents. Depending on the area you live in, some types of bad weather are more common than others. Below are some tips for staying safe in some of the most dangerous weather conditions.

Driving in snow, sleet, or ice

It is easy to lose control when driving in snowy or icy conditions. First and foremost, reduce your speed when driving in this type of weather. A small patch of ice can easily send your car spinning. Take extra precautions on bridges and in the shadows of tall structures, as these are common areas for dangerous black ice to form.

Additionally, leave plenty of room between your car and the vehicle in front of you. If the car in front of you brakes suddenly, you will have plenty of time to stop.

Do not use your brakes while turning. Instead, begin slowly turning your car and gently apply the brakes before the turn. You will then be able to take your foot off the brake and the accelerator to allow your car to coast through the turn.

If you do skid, immediately release the brake and the accelerator. Turn your car in the direction it is skidding. Doing so may help negate the skid.

Driving in rainy conditions

Reduce your speed by about 5 to 10 miles per hour. Speeding on a wet road can cause you to hydroplane. If you find yourself hydroplaning, reduce your speed until you feel your tires grip the road.

Do not drive through flooded areas. It is often difficult to tell how deep standing water is. A car may float away in only a few inches of water. If you do drive through a puddle, feather the brakes a bit so that they dry more quickly.

Driving in fog

If you have them, turn on your fog lights. If you do not have fog lights, you can use your low beam headlights. Do not use your bright lights, as that can actually make it more difficult to see.

Slow down as you approach hills. You do not want to slam into the back of a car because you did not see it on the hill.

Make sure your car is up to date on its routine maintenance. You can even ask your auto shop for winter servicing to ensure you are prepared for cold weather. Before leaving on any trip, make sure you have plenty of gas in your car and check your car’s fluid levels. It is also wise to keep an emergency kit in your car with flares, warm layers, a headlamp, and non-perishable food items.

If you have been involved in an accident, call Stein & Shulman

If you were injured by another driver, let the personal injury attorneys at Stein & Shulman help. Call 312.422.0500 for a free consultation.