With winter well underway, you and many other West Virginia motorists have likely already had your fair share of close calls on the road. Unfortunately, weather conditions can play significant roles in car accidents, and often, those incidents can easily cause serious or even fatal injuries. When individuals behind the wheel also drive recklessly or while distracted, the chances of involvement in a crash increases.
Luckily, you can make efforts in hopes of preparing yourself for, hopefully, safe travels. Because road conditions themselves can change the effectiveness of your normal driving actions, you may need to make certain modifications to work towards ensuring your safety and the safety of others.
Before you even start your car's engine, you may want to take steps to make sure that you are on the right track when it comes to safely driving in winter weather conditions. Inspecting your vehicle periodically during the winter months could help keep it in top working order. Some factors you may wish to look at before hitting the road include the following:
- Having properly inflated tires
- Not having mismatched tires
- Warming up your vehicle in an open area
- Having at least half a tank of gas
The condition of your tires can play an important role in keeping your vehicle under control, especially in icy or snowy conditions. Therefore, you may also want to inspect the tread on your tires to make sure they do not need replacing.
In addition to inspecting your vehicle before hitting the road, you may also find planning ahead useful. If you know certain roadways and areas have a tendency to become particularly treacherous during the winter, you may want to find alternate routes. Watching the weather could also help you plan ahead and determine whether you may need to give yourself extra time to accommodate for driving slower, traffic and other possible delays.
As mentioned, the way you drive in winter-weather conditions may need to differ from the way you normally drive. In hopes of avoiding skidding and sliding, be sure to speed up and slow down gradually. Stomping the gas pedal or slamming on the brakes can easily lead to a loss of control on an icy road. Driving more slowly and keeping a longer following distance from the vehicle in front of you could also help avoid an accident.
If you do end up in an accident due to someone else's negligence, you could suffer serious injuries. In this type of event, you may wish to consider exploring your legal options for potentially pursuing compensation for damages.