The holiday season is upon us once more, but that also means the oncoming winter months with snow, ice and dangerous and deadly roadways. In truth, however, any time of year can present dangerous driving conditions, and there are thousands of accidents across the nation every year that are caused by drivers losing control of their car due to rain, snow, ice debris and even sun glare.
What is perhaps most tragic about these accidents which cost many people their lives annually is that most could have been avoided with some extra care and patience. Discover some tips and advice about driving in adverse weather conditions, and when you should turn to a car accident attorney for help after an accident.
Driving in Adverse Weather Conditions
Driving in adverse weather conditions is something that’s scary to a lot of people. They wonder what they can do to avoid accidents, and some tend to panic when they have to face these issues. The first rule of thumb, in general, is that if you’re afraid to be on the road, don’t be on the road. If you tend to panic, you’ll likely make a bad decision and put yourself and others in danger.
Beyond that, let’s take a look at a couple specific inclement weather circumstances, and what you can do to keep safe in each.
Fog and Mist
Fog is a very common and extremely dangerous condition. It can all but eliminate your visibility, like driving in the dark without headlights. The worst thing you can do in this situation, in fact, is turn your high beams on—they’ll just reflect off of the water droplets in the air and blind you. Use fog lights or low beams, and just simply slow down and be alert. Patience and awareness will stop a lot of accidents in the fog.
In a similar manner, sun glare catches a lot of people off guard. The sun in your eyes at dawn or dusk can be completely blinding, and even putting on sunglasses may not eliminate the problem. Try using your vehicle sun shades if you can, and slow down or even pull over until you can see again.
The Dangers of Rain, Snow, and Ice
One thing no one should ever say is, “Speed up; it’s just a little rain!” Even a little rain is very dangerous. It can cause the oils in blacktop to come to the surface and create slippery conditions. Heavy rains, on the other hand, can cause you to hydroplane, or roll on a cushion of water that eliminates your traction altogether. In rainy conditions, slow down and put your headlights on. Much like fog, avoid high beams.
The same goes for snow and ice. You’ve got no traction. Don’t depend on 4WD; that helps you to go, but it doesn’t help you to stop. Take it slow and steady and if you fishtail, steer into it, not away from it. You’ll get control of your car faster this way.
The Catch-All Rule
So far, you may have noticed two catch-all rules for inclement weather. These are slow down and pay attention. Give yourself plenty of space and room to react to unforeseen situations, and you’ll have a much greater chance of avoiding accidents.
Of course, no matter how safe you are, sometimes another person’s bad decisions result in tragedy. If you get seriously hurt in an accident caused by someone else in Charleston, West Virginia, and you need help collecting damages for your pain and suffering, medical bills and more, call the Stewart Bell Injury Lawyers for a free case consultation today.