Winter weather is in full swing in New York City, and so are adverse driving conditions. According to the Federal Highway Administration, every year, 900 people die, and 76,000 are injured in winter weather collisions. When the conditions are dangerous, drivers have a specific obligation to adjust their driving to the weather in order to keep everyone safe. Here are some obligations drivers have in winter weather conditions:
When conditions are especially bad, for instance, in a blizzard, drivers should stay off the roads unless it is absolutely necessary for them to be out. The best way to avoid an accident in adverse conditions is to not get behind the wheel in the first place.
Prepare Your Vehicle
A vehicle that has been poorly maintained can cause an accident, especially in bad weather conditions. Ensure that your headlights and taillights are properly working and that your tires have plenty of tread and are properly inflated.
Drivers should adjust their speed to account for the traction issues that arise on snowy and icy roadways. They may even have to drive below the speed limit in order to remain safe.
Carefully Accelerate and Decelerate
When accelerating, apply the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid skidding. Don’t try to get moving quickly. When you have to stop, begin your braking early. It takes longer to slow down on icy roads. Apply the brakes lightly until you come to a full stop.
Increase Your Following Distance
You should increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to five or six seconds. The larger spacing will allow for the increased amount of time it takes to come to a complete stop in winter weather conditions.
Be Careful on Hills
Don’t suddenly accelerate when traveling up a hill. This will cause your tires to spin out and could lead to an accident. Get some inertia going to keep you powered up the hill. Reduce your speed once you’ve reached the crest.
Contact a New York Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a car accident during winter weather conditions, you should consult with an experienced car accident attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping New Yorkers injured in car accidents. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.