You, like many other Pennsylvania residents, are likely looking forward to having a new year ahead. While many changes may hopefully come about in the next few months, it is important to remember that certain things will last for a while yet, including the cold winter weather. As you will likely spend time on the road during these months, it is important that you keep safety a top priority.
While it is often best to stay off the roads whenever inclement weather hits, that is not always possible. You cannot control the weather, and in some cases, you may not have the ability to control your schedule to accommodate for the weather. However, you can control how you drive and what you to do prepare for traveling in snowy, icy and wet conditions.
Before you hit the road this winter, remember to exercise control over the elements of your travel that you can. For example, check the weather before going out. You may have the ability to leave a bit earlier or later to avoid some of the more difficult weather or traffic that could result because of the weather. You can also control your vehicle to the best of your ability by keeping the following safety tips in mind:
- Keep more distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you so that you have more time to stop.
- Drive at a slower speed than you would in perfect weather conditions.
- Gently speed up and slow down to avoid sliding and skidding.
- When going up a hill, avoid stopping if possible and avoid trying to accelerate quickly as your vehicle could lose traction.
- Avoid using cruise control when on icy, wet or snowy roads.
You can also control how well-maintained your vehicle is and how prepared it is for winter driving conditions. You can examine your tires to ensure that they have enough tread and are properly inflated. You could also make sure that your windshield and mirrors are free from ice before hitting the road. Checking your exhaust pipe to make sure ice or snow has not caused a clog is also smart.
What you cannot control
Unfortunately, even if you do your best to control the aspects of winter driver that are within your abilities, you cannot control how other people drive. As a result, you could still find yourself involved in a serious car accident because someone was speeding, following too closely or otherwise driving in an unsafe manner for the conditions. If so, you may have reason to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver considered at fault in efforts to seek compensation for allowable damages.