It’s fall and winter is right around the corner. As the weather starts turning it’s important to take extra caution while driving on Washington’s roads. During the summer we’ve gotten some reprieve from most dangerous driving conditions. But as we get into the rainy season where snow and sleet are common occurrences it’s important to brush up on defensive driving habits for the winter months. Here are our winter safety tips to keep you safe this season.
As we’ve seen the last few weeks, inclement weather can hit quickly and without warning. When there’s snow or water on the roadway it’s important to take time to slow down and drive carefully. You can quickly loose control of your vehicle in rain or snow. That’s why reducing speed is crucial to staying safe this fall and winter season.
This doesn’t only apply to your cruising speed. Make sure to accelerate and decelerate slower than you would on a sunny day. You never know how much time you’ll need to stop until that time is running out.
When it’s rainy or winding out it’s also a good idea to take your car off cruise control. When you’re on the highway letting cruise control do the work you’re less able to compensate for resistance against the wind. Taking control of the speed you’re going helps you adjust your speed and direction accordingly based on how the wind is blowing. This can help you stay in your lane and keep from being blown off the road by high speed winds.
Make sure to take corners and turns slowly too to keep from spinning out.
If you do start to skid out of control, don’t fight the skid. This will only make it harder to regain control of your vehicle. Instead, steer in the direction you’re skidding.
Increasing your following distance is inclement weather can help keep both you and other safe on the road. Often times we’re closer to the people in front of us than we realize. This can result in disaster under the right (wrong) conditions.
On a typical sunny day you want at least 8 seconds between you and the person in front of you. If it’s raining, increase that to 10 seconds. You can easily see how many seconds behind someone you are by choosing an object (like a roadway sign) in the distance, waiting until the person in front of you passes it, then counting how many seconds it takes you to get to that same object. If conditions are snowy, increase following distance even further.
One of our last winter safety tips is to plan ahead. One of the main reasons people speed is because they think they lack the time they need to get to their destination. Not only is speeding dangerous (and ineffective). Especially in rainy or snowing weather, it can be deadly. It’s easy to lose control of the wheel during inclement weather.
You can easily avoid this pitfall by planning ahead. Give yourself more time than you need to complete you commute.
Another great idea is to plan out your route in advance. If there’s excess water or snow on a particular roadway, you’ll want to route around that.
Lots of navigation apps likes Waze provide up-to-date traffic and road condition updates that can help you navigate around potentially dangerous or congested areas.
These winter safety tips don’t just help you. These are crucial to keeping your passenger and fellow commuters safe out on the road. Our team at EPIC Law hope you stay safe out there this fall and winter season!
If you do find yourself in a highway accident, give our team at EPIC Law a call. Our expert team of legal professionals are committed to providing you with comprehensive representation to get you and your loved ones the compensation that you deserve. For more winter safety tips and other tips on staying safe read more from our blog!