The coming weekend's forecast indicates that a substantial snowstorm is heading our way, and with it comes the guarantee that numerous accidents are likely to occur as a result. Each winter, I am reminded of an event that happened a couple of years ago that left me feeling quite shocked.
I had just dropped my daughter off at Kennedy Airport in New York City to fly back to her home in Washington State. As I was returning to Connecticut, light snow began to fall. The driving conditions suddenly worsened, which did not seem to affect a particular portion of the driving public. At one point in time, while I was proceeding slowly on the highway, a young man in a muscle car passed me driving quite quickly. Less than one mile up the road, the same driver had crashed his car into the median guardrail and was on the roadway picking up pieces of his car. As a result, traffic came to a dead stop on the highway for approximately one hour as the police assessed the scene and tow trucks removed the multiple cars involved in the accident. I sat in disbelief during that time, wondering how these drivers could be so reckless while operating their vehicles in a snowstorm.
The next day, I read in the newspaper about an accident that occurred on the same highway. Tragically, a truck driver was unable to stop his vehicle and hit a car in the passing lane from behind, killing two of the occupants of that motor vehicle.
Driving in a Snowstorm
What can you do to significantly reduce the risk of being involved in a car accident during a snowstorm? Following several key recommendations and suggestions will either eliminate your risk of being involved in a car accident or considerably reduce your risk of being severely injured- or even dying- in such a crash.
The Safest Option
First and foremost, unless it is an emergency, you should not drive a motor vehicle during a snowstorm as the chances of being involved in an accident increase exponentially. It does not matter how carefully you operate a motor vehicle in these conditions because many other people traveling on the roadways may be doing so in a negligent or reckless manner, and you cannot predict their actions.
If you must drive a motor vehicle during a snowstorm, one of the best things you can do is slow down. It is not enough that you are operating your motor vehicle at the speed limit because that may be too fast in many cases. You need to adjust your driving speed to the environment and circumstances around you. For example, if the speed limit on the highway is 55 miles an hour and you are driving in a blinding snowstorm, it stands to reason that you will have to significantly reduce your speed, which in some cases may be almost to a crawl.
Familiarity and Experience
You need to make sure that you have experience driving on snowy and slippery roadways, and you need to know your motor vehicle to understand how hard or how soft you need to touch the brakes, how sensitive your car is to steer, and how it handles in the snow. Knowing whether your car is a front-wheel drive or a rear-wheel-drive matters too. A front-wheel-drive car is generally easier to operate in the snow. You can merely let off the gas and gently steer into it if you begin to skid. If you are driving a rear-wheel car, it is much more of a challenge to operate because if you start to skid, you may have to steer counter to the direction in which you were skidding to correct the fishtailing of the backend of the vehicle.
You should also be constantly aware of your surroundings. For example, be mindful of white-out conditions or the sudden appearance of black ice. Make sure that you have the least amount of distractions when driving a car. Never use your cell phone, the radio should be off, and distractions should be kept to a minimum. Driving in a snowstorm requires you to be hyper-alert, not only to your driving but with the other drivers on the road. You need to be as prepared as possible in the case that you are forced to employ and complete some emergency driving maneuver.
In an Accident?
If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a Connecticut car accident, or if you know someone who has been killed, then you need to contact an experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyer at the earliest possible moment. There are a significant number of mistakes that you can make in trying to handle your own Connecticut car accident case or in even attempting to do some of the groundwork on your own.
The insurance company has a team of experts looking to pay you the least amount of money possible for your Connecticut accident case.
Do not attempt to handle your own Connecticut car accident case unless and until you get the advice of an experienced Connecticut personal injury attorney.
Hastings, Cohan & Walsh provides numerous resources that can be utilized before and after an accident.
For a free copy of our book on Connecticut car accidents, click here.
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To thoroughly discuss the facts of your case and get detailed instructions on what you should and should not be doing., schedule a virtual case evaluation with one of our Connecticut personal injury lawyers, click here or call (203) 438-7450
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