Being a safe driver is sometimes just not enough. Accidents can happen out of nowhere, and most of the time, you will not see it coming. Many things could cause a car accident to occur:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Road rage
- Lack of focus
- Driving while exhausted
However, during winter, mother nature plays an important part and is responsible for causing many accidents. Regardless of your driving experience, you could end up in a car accident in the blink of an eye. And when you do, you must call your attorney to help protect your best interests. If you do not have an attorney, feel free to reach out to our Los Angeles car accident attorneys.
Here are several tips that will help keep you safe on the road during winter.
1) Give Yourself Enough Space
If you ask any driving expert about safety, he or she will tell you that the most important thing while driving during winter is to give yourself enough space on the road. There are many reasons why this is essential for a safe ride:
- The road may be slippery
- A car in front of you may brake suddenly
- The road may be covered with ice, snow or debris
By giving yourself enough space, you will be able to slow your vehicle enough to avoid an accident. At the same time, you will give the driver in front of you enough space to brake if they are required to do so.
2) Slow Down
Speed is an important factor (regardless of the time of the year) that will keep you safe or put your life at risk. In reality, the faster you go, the more chance you have to end up in a car accident. By slowing down, you will allow yourself to have full control of the vehicle and to drive safely.
Watch for the speed limits, and try and drive under the limit at all times. Do not be the slowest car on the road, but try to be somewhere in the middle (speed-wise). Slowing down too much could put you in just as much danger as driving too fast.
3) Vehicle Maintenance Is Crucial For Your Safety
If you are using your car a lot during winter months, remember that proper car maintenance could be the main difference between a safe ride and the one ending in a disaster. If your car is maintained correctly, you will additionally increase your safety. In contrast, if your car is lacking maintenance, you will put yourself, your passengers and other vehicles on the road at risk.
Visit your mechanic and do what is necessary:
- Replace the oil
- Swap to winter tires
- Fill in the antifreeze
- Replace your windshield wipers
- If necessary, replace your braking discs
- Change the filters on your AC
Remember that even the slightest problem could turn into a disaster. If your windshield gets foggy from the inside (because your AC filter was not replaced in a while), or if your windshield wipers are unable to wipe the water and snow away properly, you may end up in a car accident due to lack of vision.
If you find yourself in an accident, speak with car accident attorneys in Los Angeles, schedule your free initial consultation and learn everything about your rights and how you can file a car accident claim against the party responsible for causing the accident. If successful, you will receive:
- Compensation for your medical bills
- Payment for your property damage
- Payment for your lost wages
- Payment for your pain and suffering
4) All Eyes On The Road
When on the road during cold winter months, it is essential to keep your eyes wide open. At this point, every mistake could be your last one. If you had a long day at work and are too tired to drive, yet you feel like you can do it, perhaps it is better that you call a cab. Exhaustion could kick in, and you could get distracted or dizzy, at which point the accident is inevitable.
Keep in mind that you are not the only tired driver out there and that at any point, a car in front of you could skid, switch to your lane without signalization, or go off-road. You need to stay focused, and if you spot any suspicious movement ahead of you, give them enough space and try to signal the driver with your lights or horn.
If your eyes are starting to shut, open the window a bit and let in some cold air. Or, pull over, leave your vehicle and stretch a bit in the cold air. That will get your blood flowing, and help you continue the ride. Do it several times if necessary.
The number of car accidents increases every winter. Risk factors are everywhere, and some people never learn that driving in cold weather is dangerous. If you have any problems on the road or would like to get informed, consult with our Los Angeles car accident attorneys today and learn everything about car accidents and your legal rights following an accident.
5) Stock Your Car With Tools and Safety Gear
Be sure that you always have a few “safety items” inside your vehicle, just in case. These involve:
- A shovel
- A blanket
- A first aid kit
- A cotton rag
- A lighter
- A flashlight
- Snow chains
- Ice scraper
- Basic mechanic tools
6) Do Not Stop Unless You Have To
While on the road, try to become one with the traffic, but create enough space around you to increase safety. If you are going up the hill, remember that slowing down could cause you to start going back without control. It is essential to know that while driving up the hill, accelerating too fast will force your tires to lose traction, and decelerating too much will cause you to get stuck in place, without the ability to continue driving (this is especially important if driving on a slippery road).
Car accident attorneys in Los Angeles advise you to get some inertia before going up the hill and to keep that speed for as long as you can until you reach the top. The last thing you want is to lose traction and to spin out of control.