When winter does its worst, we all slow down, and use the car more. During the holidays, we learn to deal with huge queues to the city center, and in January we plan our skiing trip. If you would like to keep yourself and the kids safe on the road, you need to look out for the most common risks of accidents, and learn how to avoid them. Below you will find a list of the most common causes of crashes when snow and ice make driving difficult.
1. Black Ice
Black ice can be deadly, as you will not see it. It happens when the snow or rain melts and then freezes on the road surface again. While the road looks clear, you will find it hard to accelerate, turn, and break. You might not be able to stop in time, or the car behind you would simply slip into you. If you suffer an accident due to black ice, you need to find a legal professional with extensive experience for personal injury and seek compensation for the damage caused.
2. Inexperienced Drivers on the Road
In the winter, people who usually take public transport or walk will get in the car to keep warm. This means that there will be more inexperienced drivers, or elderly people who are out of practice hitting the highway. You need to look out for signs of hesitation, and if you see someone finding it hard to keep to their lane, stay back rather than following them close, to avoid accidents in the winter.
3. Inadequate Tires
If you live in a state with cold winters, you might be required by law to have separate winter tires and get them changed as the weather gets colder. However, due to the change of weather patterns, you might experience extremely cold weather you are not used to. This means you need to see a mechanic to find out whether or not winter tires would give you extra protection on icy and snowy roads.
In the winter, there are more floods and burst pipes than any other time. Roadworks that are not adequately signposted can cause people to brake suddenly, and this will lead to accidents. You need to be on the lookout and keep on checking the breaking lights of the cars ahead, while keeping a longer than usual following distance.
5. Low Visibility
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The low winter sun combined with a white landscape can greatly reduce your visibility. Even if you have a tinted window, the reflections can blind you for a few seconds, which can be enough for an accident to happen. When the visibility is affected on the road, you should slow down and wear sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s glare. Keep your distance, and stop if necessary, to avoid accidents.
When planning a winter vacation with your family, you should be prepared for the common risk factors, such as black ice, low visibility, and roadworks. Keep your kids safe, and have an emergency kit in the back, just in case.