To be a good driver means adjusting how you drive for the weather. In Colorado, that involves being prepared for icy and snowy road conditions. Your Denver auto accident attorney has prepared a list of Top 10 Tips for driving in hazardous weather.
Top 10 Tips
- Slow Down: Adjusting your speed for bad weather and road conditions is common sense, but many people fail to actually put this into practice. The fact is, the faster a vehicle travels, the harder it is to recover from a skid, avoid plowing into the next vehicle when you hit an icy spot or stop at a stop sign in slushy snow.
- SUVs Have Additional Reasons to Slow Down: The extra weight and size of SUVs cause rolling and flipping which is exacerbated by bad road conditions.
- Brake Steadily: Slamming on the brakes is not effective in snow and ice, and can be dangerous. Applying too much pressure when there is too little traction can result in a spin-out or worse. Apply steady pressure to anti-lock brakes; pump standard brakes.
- Black Ice: If there has been recent precipitation and the temperature is near freezing, there is a good chance that the road is covered with a thin sheet of ice even though you cannot see it. That is why it is called “Black Ice” and that is why it is so dangerous. Do not be fooled and drive appropriately–or not at all.
- Bridge Warnings: Bridges and overpasses really do ice over faster than roads and highways, so even if the latter are fine, the former may not be. Executing lane changes or getting on or off-ramps must be done with extra care.
- Low Beams: Remember that headlights on snow can be blinding–to you and other drivers. Use low beams when using your lights!
- No Sudden Turns: Making sudden turns can be hazardous in the best of weather; do it in bad weather and you could end up somewhere you did not intend–such as a ditch, the side of the road or upside down. Plan where you are going so that you have the proper amount of time to make a turn, or do not make it.
- Steer Into a Skid: We have all heard this maxim, but how many of us do it under pressure? The temptation when skidding is to correct the skid, but doing that could have very ugly results. Instead, go with the skid until the vehicle stops. Then you can steer in the direction you wish to go.
- Maintain Extra Distance: Tailgating in good weather is a bad idea; in snowy, icy road conditions, it is an accident waiting to happen. Always leave extra room for sudden stops and swerves of the car ahead, as well as for slips and slides of your own vehicle.
- Be Patient: When a trip that normally takes one hour takes four because of bad roads creating bad traffic, remember that getting into an accident would take even longer. The phrase “better late than never” is very appropriate for traveling in bad weather.
Winterizing Your Vehicle
Your Denver auto accident attorney emphasizes that while adjusting your driving with the above 10 tips is essential, it is only part of being prepared for winter driving in Colorado. Properly winterizing your vehicle is just as important, with the following key items: (1) snow tires for good traction; (2) a good battery; (3) fluids that are full, including anti-freeze and windshield wiper; (4) brake pads that are in good shape; and (5) an emergency kit in the car that contains survival gear, essential medications, a First Aid kit, and emergency contact equipment.
Contact Your Lawyer
If you have had an accident on snowy, icy roads, or if you want more information on winter driving on Colorado roads, contact Jordan Levine at the Levine Law Firm.