Winter driving: slow down, improve skills

Michael James

Winter weather increases potential driving hazards.

Winter is a hazardous time on roads. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are at increased risk.

Here are the most common causes of winter road accidents and how to avoid them.

Distractions While Winter Driving

About 20 percent of all vehicle accidents can be connected to distracted driving, particularly in inclement weather.

Taking extra precautions during winter driving can help prevent accidents.
Taking extra precautions during winter driving can help prevent accidents.

Ice and sleet can keep your car from stopping, even if you brake in time to avoid hitting someone. Cyclists must be more vigilant because more accidents occur in inclement weather. If you’re hit by a car while cycling, call a bicycle accident lawyer for help.

Dirty Windows, Winter Road Accidents

When light hits dirty glass, glare gets worse for drivers. it’s to see the road and an accident could occur quickly. Keep your car windows clean to cut down the glare from the sun and other cars’ headlights. In winter, the sun’s glare can still be intense.

Use a de-icer daily and wash your windshield to eliminate dirt and other debris. Check that your windshield wipers are clean to reduce smearing.

Driving Too Fast

One regular determining factor in an accident is drivers driving too fast. Driving slow in winter weather allows increased distances and time for stopping. Driving slowly also provides increased time to react if a problem occurs. If a vehicle stops suddenly or its driver doesn’t use their turn signal, it’s more difficult to stop quickly in poor weather conditions.

Incorrectly Driving Away From Ice

Ice is among the biggest worries when driving in winter. It can cause many problems — slippery roads, obscured vision, and slower reaction times because of the cold. Another issue is not knowing the proper way to operate a car while getting away from the ice.

Here are some tips: Shift your car into second gear. Ease the clutch gently. Gently accelerate. Stick to a constant speed. Ease off if you skid and don’t brake.

There is a trick to driving on ice and learning the appropriate skills learn is important. Proper driving techniques are imperative, but using winter tires and keeping them properly maintained is also important.

Sun and Light Conditions

The sun can be blinding in the winter and summer, and snow can reflect the sun. Wearing polarized sunglasses while driving on a sunny day will help minimize glare and all better vision.

During the winner, nightfall occurs earlier, necessitating turning on your car’s headlights, perhaps earlier than expected. Keep particularly vigilant for other vehicles when driving at night, and don’t use hi-beams.

Cold Weather Prompts Winter Road Accidents

Besides potential winter road condition issues, cold weather can affect drivers’ comfort levels. In extreme weather, drivers can be more susceptible to losing focus. One solution: warm your vehicle before driving in cold weather.

Weather-Related Visibility

When winter storms and fog happen, driving visibility lessens and can become problematic. Pedestrians can be more difficult to see in adverse conditions like mist, snow and icy roads and all of this can put you in danger of getting into a car accident. Commonsense should prevail: drive slower and more carefully.

Content provided by The Weekly Driver News Service and additional news sources.

Article Last Updated: December 7, 2022.

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