Snow and ice are some of the most dangerous culprits when it comes to automobile accidents. According to the Federal Highway Administration, snow causes an average of 225,000 accidents per year, while an additional 190,100 crashes are attributed to icy roads. In total, wintry weather results in an average of 1,490 deaths per year. Before driving in snow or ice, keep these seven driving tips in mind to avoid become one of these statistics.
- Clear your windows. Use an ice scraper to remove frost from all windows—not just the front windshield. Don’t forget to remove interior condensation by running the air conditioner on its fresh air setting.
- Ensure visibility before taking off. Many drivers make the mistake of checking their windows and mirrors while on the road. It is important to make sure you can see around all sides of the vehicle before you drive off so you can make adjustments as needed.
- Check your tires. All four tires should have the same amount of tread—this is achievable with tires of all ages so long as they are rotated with every oil change. Having less tread on some of the tires makes your car more prone to accidents.
- Steady the steering wheel. In an attempt to gain control, many drivers jerk the wheel to help straighten their cars. This actually makes accidents more likely.
- Brake lightly to avoid sliding and turnovers. If a vehicle makes a sudden stop in front of you, avoid jerking the steering wheel.
- Keep twice the distance between you and the person in front of you. If you normally follow the two car lengths rule, then keep four car lengths behind other vehicles when driving in snow.
- Stay home. If the weather conditions are too dangerous to drive in, it is best not to risk it. Keep tabs on weather reports and use caution when you come across melting ice and snow.
Contact an experienced NY Accident Attorney if you are involved in a snow and ice related car accident.