Winter is coming! For the most part winter conditions stay pretty favorable here in the South, but that doesn’t mean it is always clear and good to go. There can be ice and snow storms when temperatures plummet below freezing, causing unfriendly driving conditions and the poor driving skills of others to be readily apparent. Now, more than ever, it’s important to think safely as you embark on the roads to do some winter driving. You don’t have to only worry about yourself, though; you must also remember the other stupid people on the road who may crash into you and cause you injury. Should this be the case, remember you can count on the torts and personal injury law team at Andry Law Group in New Orleans.
Common Causes of Poor Weather Car Accidents
Relying on Automatic Braking
The power braking technology in vehicles today is incredible! This technology forces the tires to stop completely, which can be deadly if those tires are on ice. Imagine yourself on a frozen lake. If you were to slide across the ice, you would make it further faster than if you were to take one step at a time. While this may be beneficial during a hockey game, it is not ideal when you’re in a car or a sliding car is coming at you. To replicate the step method of moving on ice while in a car, pump the brakes. This means to push the brake and release it frequently. This allows the tires to keep moving, allowing them the opportunity to gain traction and stop sliding.
Driving with Minimal Tire Tread
Similar to accidents that happen when drivers rely on automatic braking are accidents caused when drivers encounter wet, snowy, and icy roads with minimal tire tread. The tread of a tire is what provides traction on the road. Please, do not drive during bad conditions when your tire tread is worn. A good, simple judgment of your tread condition can be made by using a penny.
GoodYear Auto Service shares the trick, “Simply insert a penny into the tire tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tread depth is less than 2/32 inch and it’s time to replace your tires.”
Speed is always a bad factor in any car accident, and it can be especially damaging in bad weather. Even if the speed of travel is at or below the stated speed limit, it could still be too fast for the conditions. As a rule of thumb, accelerate and decelerate slowly; leave the lead foot at home! Moreover, take turns at slower speeds in wet conditions than you would in dry ones.
Judging a Distance Poorly
While it is always recommended to keep moving, there is such thing as bad judgment on distance to other cars. Whether you are trying to slowly creep up to a line of cars at a stop light or are trying not to stop fully at a sign, it can cause more problems to keep moving (into other cars) than if you were to stop fully and then take an extra moment or two to get started again. Again, thanks to the law of inertia, it is easier to get back up to speed if the speed never fully stops, but it is dangerous to blow through a stop sign when trying to play this trick.
We hope you stay safe on the roads this winter by following this advice so you are not on the guilty side of a car accident. We also hope that you find yourself safe from others who may be driving poorly and causing negligent accidents.
Contact our torts and personal injury lawyer in New Orleans at Andry Law Group for a free initial consultation if you or a loved one gets in an auto accident this winter.