All drivers must recognize various safe driving techniques that can keep them out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, not everyone takes the necessary precautions on the road—and even fewer use the extra care necessary while driving in terrible winter weather.
All drivers on the road must recognize how to stay safe on the road. These steps can help protect all drivers from the potential dangers that increase when the weather worsens. Here are just a few of the things drivers can do moving forward, so they can keep themselves and their families safe.
Know the Speed Limit—Then Drive Slower
The speed limit is suitable for normal driving situations. This speed limit considers when the weather is safe and free of any potential hazards. It doesn’t, however, factor in inclement weather that can cause significant problems whenever there are multiple vehicles on the road.
Even driving the speed limit can be dangerous when the weather is terrible. Rain, snow, and fog can impact how well a person can drive. These elements lower visibility, make it more challenging to control a vehicle, and present numerous problems on the road.
In terrible weather, the speed limit changes. It’s no longer one set number. Instead, drivers must operate safely for conditions. Slow down if necessary, and be sure to leave enough time to stop. Drivers cannot predict the actions of others on the road, and they must have full control of their vehicles to prevent problems.
Perform Maintenance Regularly
Maintenance of a vehicle is crucial to protect drivers on the road. Maintenance can prevent small problems from becoming much more significant issues.
Here are some of the things drivers should do to perform proper maintenance on their vehicle:
- Check the brakes: In terrible weather, the brakes can be the most important aspect of a vehicle. Drivers rely on their brakes to stop. When brakes wear down, the bad weather can further impact how well they operate, making it tough to stop in time.
- Replace windshield wipers: Visibility worsens as the weather does, making it difficult for drivers to see a good distance in front of them. Factor in worn windshield wipers and drivers see nothing but streaks across their window. Replace windshield wipers to help clear rain effectively.
- Watch for tire pressure: The temperature outside can impact tire pressure greatly. While hot weather can cause the air inside a tire to expand and tire pressure rises, cold weather does the opposite. The tire pressure drops and puts drivers at risk of serious problems on the road.
Drivers who don’t maintain their vehicles may hold responsibility when they cause someone else’s injuries in a negligence-related crash. Even if the weather plays a role in the crash, showing that there was a lack of maintenance can help the injured pursue compensation.
Give Other Drivers Plenty of Space
In terrible weather, tailgating is one of the worst actions a driver can commit. Driving so close to another vehicle puts multiple parties in danger and presents the potential of a severe collision. Inclement weather heightens the potential dangers because of the inability to gain traction and stop as quickly as needed.
As the ground becomes slippery, even tires with a great deal of tread left can lose traction. Vehicles can hydroplane, and drivers lose control much easier than they would in regular weather. If there is not enough space between multiple vehicles, it becomes more challenging to stop and avoid a crash.
Be Aware of Steep Hills
Whether going up or down a hill in terrible weather, drivers may have trouble seeing what’s approaching. Traffic can stop vehicles at the very top of a hill, and it can be difficult to stop in time when drivers don’t see them until the last second.
Going down a hill in inclement weather can also pose significant dangers, as it becomes more challenging for drivers to slow down when the rain impacts their brakes. Slow down before approaching the incline and use the brakes only when necessary. Losing control can be much worse when pressing on the brakes too hard and in a sudden motion.
What to Do in an Accident
As safe as most drivers want to be in inclement weather, others do not use the same caution and care on the road. These negligent drivers continue to speed, swerve in and out of lanes, and put all other drivers in a dangerous position.
If an accident occurs, it’s crucial to have a plan of what to do next. Ensure a cell phone is in the vehicle and charged for calling on emergency services. Also, road flares can help other drivers recognize a crash, so they can prepare to stop or move over.
In bad weather, the protocol remains the same. It’s still critical to gather the other driver’s information as negligence may still play a role in causing the collision. There may even be legal remedies available to pursue compensation for the damages sustained.
How Our Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Help the Injured
Far too often, drivers don’t consider inclement weather when driving. They think they’re safe by going the speed limit, even if all other drivers are going much slower as per conditions on the road. When a negligent driver causes harm, they should accept responsibility for their actions.
At The Kalka Law Group, we take car accident cases seriously because we know the traumatic damages they can cause. We’ve spent years helping our clients understand their rights, even when nature plays a role in a crash. We’ll be there to guide our clients through complex matters, so they can pursue the outcome they deserve.
Call our firm today at (678) 270-2377 to speak with a lawyer about what legal options may be available after a crash in terrible weather.