Adjusting Your Driving for Winter Weather

Winter driving conditions can be dangerous even if you don’t have several feet of snow covering the ground. In fact, sometimes the dangers of a light dusting of snow elude people. In addition, you may think that if there is no winter advisory, you will be safe. This is not always the case.

The Reader’s Digest says points out some important facts in an article  entitled “Here’s Why Light Snow Is Just as Dangerous as a Snowstorm.”

The Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS) as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) provide statistics about snow conditions. They indicated that 54 percent of snow-related fatal crashes from 2015-2017 happened when there was no warning or winter advisory from the National Weather Service.

Snow is typically less dangerous for driving than ice. However, when light snow melts, if the temperatures are low, the melted snow can easily refreeze. The road then becomes a sheet of black ice.

The Factors that Make Winter Driving Conditions Hazardous

The following factors create dangers for drivers:

  • Losing traction. Traction refers to the grip of the tire on the roadway or surface. The better your tire grips the road, the less chances there are of sliding. Snow and, in particular, ice reduce traction. When your vehicle begins to slide, it is easy to lose control of it. This puts you at high risk for crashing into another car, object or structure.
  • Less visibility. When driving in the snow, it is more difficult to see the road and other cars.
  • Vehicle failure. Cold weather puts wear and tear on your tires. It is also harder on the engine, requiring anti-freeze. Furthermore, car fluids can freeze or cause a blowout if not carefully monitored.

If your car goes into a spin, you should drive into the direction of the skid. To avoid skidding, make a practice of accelerating and decelerating slowly. Also, it is wise to maintain extra distance between your car and other vehicles.

If You or a Loved One Is Severely Injured, Consult with a Lawyer

Serious injury may warrant a lawsuit. Discuss your accident in a free consultation with our attorneys at Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP.