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Winter Weather Driving: 3 Tips to Avoid Accidents When Driving in Snow and Ice

Winter is a favorite season of many. For some, it’s a season when they can relax in hot tubs and saunas. But for others, the season is synonymous with adventure. Some people take advantage of the snow and ski to their heart’s content. Others, however, set out on road trips with their loved ones. 

Traveling in winter is dangerous. The likelihood of car accidents is always high. Snow, ice, and reduced visibility often lead to accidents. Every year, nearly 13% of weather-related car crashes occur on icy pavements in the U.S. Meanwhile, a total of 16% take place on slushy or snowy roads. You must exercise extra caution when you’re driving on roads laden with snow and ice. 

Here, we’ll share some practical tips that will help you avoid accidents when driving during the coldest months of the year.

#1 Invest in Winter Tires

All-season tires work well in summer as well as mild winter conditions. But they don’t perform well in harsh winters, especially if you live in areas where the temperature drops below 44.6°F or 7°C. The tread compound of these tires offers little traction in cold weather. They become hard and lose flexibility and traction in freezing temperatures. Thus, they increase the risk of accidents. 

Winter tires, also known as snow tires, are designed to handle snow, ice, and cold temperatures. These tires are made from a softer rubber compound that remains flexible in freezing conditions, which is why they provide a better grip on slick surfaces. Their tread patterns are designed to channel snow and slush it away from the tires to improve traction and minimize the risk of hydroplaning. 

Snow tires also feature more biting edges and sipes that create additional traction on ice. As a result, they improve braking performance and handling.  

#2 Avoid Speedy Driving

You might want to burn some rubber and feel the thrill of driving your car at speeds exceeding 100 km/hour. But speeding is a big no-no in winter. Roads are covered with snow or frost, and visibility is also low. Accidents are bound to happen. 

About 22% of traffic fatalities in 2022 were due to speeding. Nearly 41% of drivers were speeding on roads covered with ice or frost. Those accidents took the lives of 12,151 people, or an average of more than 33 individuals on a typical day. 

Adhere to posted speed limits on dry conditions but drive slowly in freezing temperatures. Per the National Safety Council, driving at the posted speed limit might be safe in dry conditions. But the same speed could be considered too fast if the road is covered with snow or ice. You must reduce speed by half or more on snow-packed roads. You should ideally drive at 30 mph on snowy roads.

Early in January 2024, KARK 4 Today published an article stating that snow was causing crashes in Little Rock, Arkansas. Lately, there has been a rise in fatal car crashes in Little Rock. In 2023, there was about a 43% increase in deadly car crashes compared to 2022. Some common spots of accidents include Geyer Springs Road, Markham Street, and University Ave. 

Loss of control due to speeding could be the reason behind these crashes. Irrespective of where you drive in Little Rock, avoid speeding. Still, if you get involved in a car accident in the city, a lawyer can help prove that the incident occurred due to the other party’s fault. 

Filing a lawsuit, Keith Law Group remarks, can be overwhelming, confusing, and nerve-wracking at a time when you’re most vulnerable. 

In such a situation, an experienced Little Rock car accident lawyer can help you recover maximum compensation. They can investigate the accident, file a suit against the at-fault party, determine damages, as well as represent you if the case goes to trial. Since they handle the legal issues, you can focus on recovery. 

#3 Leave Plenty of Distance Between You and the Driver Ahead

It’s advisable to maintain a safe distance from the car ahead of you when you’re on the road. Keeping a safe distance from the driver ahead is more important if you’re driving on a snow-covered road. 

As a general rule, you must maintain eight to ten seconds of following distance in winter conditions. This increased distance provides the necessary time to react if the vehicle in front of you stops suddenly or loses control.

Maintaining a safe distance allows you to brake gently and gradually, reducing the likelihood of skidding. It also gives you more time to make decisions and maneuver safely around obstacles.

To wrap things up, accidents are common on snowy and icy roads. You can reduce the risk of colliding with another vehicle by taking these precautions. Further, you must stay vigilant and navigate the road cautiously. Other than that, remember to plan your routes carefully and stay informed about current weather and road conditions. Rest assured that you will be safe on the roads. 

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