With Connecticut’s First Nor’easter on The Way, Key Safe Driving Tips Should Be Followed

Posted on 11/02/20

Inclement weather substantially increases your chances of being involved in an accident.

As the holiday and winter season approaches, Connecticut drivers will need to prepare for extreme weather conditions ranging from heavy rain, fog, sleet, and snow. Driving safely through inclement weather can be a dangerous task for even the most seasoned driver. The chances of sustaining a catastrophic injury related to severe weather increase substantially if necessary safety precautions aren’t followed. Based on the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration‘s reporting, nearly 25% of all accidents are weather-related. Of those accidents, nearly 75% are caused by wet, icy, or snowy pavement. According to the Department of Transportation, over 1,400 people are killed and over 116,800 individuals are injured in automobile crashes on icy, snowy, or slushy pavement annually. Although the weather may be a factor in an accident, negligence can still be found depending on the facts of the case.

Inclement weather is never in our control unlike several common causes of accidents like speeding, driving while under the influence, and general recklessness. If you were injured in extreme weather-related conditions, it’s important you reach out to a trusted Connecticut attorney. Attorney James A. Welcome will aggressively take all actions possible on your behalf to ensure you receive just compensation for your medical expenses and other related damages to your accident. When you partner with a New England Super Lawyer, you can rest knowing your case is in the right hands. When you hire an attorney, you want personable representation each step of the way. Don’t let your case fall into the wrong hands and reach out today for your free personal injury consultation.

Safe Driving In Heavy Snow, Sleet, and Rain

It’s important to learn to take safe actions when it comes to driving in inclement weather. Falling victim to an accident related to weather conditions can be prevented if you follow some of our key safety tips. Remember, never risk the safety of you or your loved ones in inclement weather, take caution, and be vigilant.

With little warning, Connecticut’s weather can change rapidly. If you’re driving in extreme weather conditions, you can lose control of your vehicle causing a catastrophic injury to your or your loved ones. Although many Connecticut drivers would prefer to stay home in inclement weather conditions, it just isn’t possible with work, school, and other related activities. In the case that you must travel in treacherous conditions, it’s important to proceed with caution. The unpredictable driving patterns of other drivers need to be taken seriously when driving in harmful conditions.

Stay Home

Avoid taking an unnecessary risk when it comes to driving in inclement weather. As tempting as it may be to travel, you could find yourself stuck or involved in an accident. Take any inclement weather conditions as a deterrent for non-essential travel. Besides what’s not better than staying home?

Slowing Down

Although it may seem obvious to all drivers, speeding during extreme weather conditions is on of the largest factors as to why accidents occur. Feeling overconfident about your vehicle’s performance will almost surely cost you. The single biggest factor that can ensure you safely arrive at your destination is to reduce your speed by at least 15 miles per hour. In some cases, during heavy snowfall, you should reduce your speed to half. When driving on snow, ice, or wet pavement you must account for the lack of traction between your vehicle’s tires and the surface. Reducing your speed will give you more time to make maneuvers to avoid a collision and decrease your stopping distance. This also applies to the way you accelerate and decelerate during severe conditions. Remember, when driving in dangerous weather, your traction is severely limited so decelerating earlier when approaching a light and slowly accelerating will avoid you losing control of your vehicle and skidding out. Keep your vehicle doing one thing at a time when it comes to accelerating and braking. As much as possible, stay engaged in your driving. Using autonomous driving controls will not be suitable in inclement weather. In extreme conditions, the markers will be covered with snow, slush, or dirt. Thus it remains vital for you to stay focused on the conditions at hand and proceed with caution.

Distracted Driving

You know the rules. Distracted driving is dangerous. Abide by the posted speed limits and never use your cellphone while operating your vehicle. Not only is distracted driving put you at risk but it can impact the lives of your vehicle occupants and others. No text or call is worth the hassle of a catastrophic injury or even death. Distracted driving impairs your ability to follow critical safety techniques and can lead to irresponsible driving such as lack of judgment and reaction time.

Keep a Safe Distance When Driving

Traveling with a safe distance between vehicles is vital in preventing rear-end collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends all drivers leave at least 7 seconds in the following distance between vehicles. Keeping distance works in your favor to respond to any actions the driver ahead of you takes. Safe driving distance in all conditions should be abided by, without distance you limit your ability to adequately respond to changes in driving.

Be Visible to Other Drivers

In many states driving with hazard lights on is illegal. This is not the case for Connecticut drivers unless posted. When driving in inclement weather, take all possible actions to make your vehicle as visible as possible. Keeping either your low beam headlights or hazard lights on during extreme weather conditions ensures other drivers are aware of your vehicles. During intense snowfall or extreme rain, brake lights are difficult to see. Incorporating all the functionalities of your vehicle lights will reduce your chances of being involved in an accident. If abiding by the preceding tips, your chances of an accident are greatly reduced.

Quick tips

  • Tires- Ensure your tires are properly inflated especially during colder temperatures. As temperatures drop your vehicle’s tires significantly lose pressure. Regularly inspect your tires for any tears while getting them replaced especially if they’re worn out. Leaving worn-out tires on your vehicles will increase your chances of losing traction and control of your vehicle. If possible, change your vehicle tires to snow tires for increased traction on Connecticut roads.
  • Fuel up- For all the car maintenance fanatics out there, you probably know that having at least half a tank is a must. Not only does it prevent the deterioration of your gas tank but it ensures you have the necessary fuel if you were to get stuck.
  • Cruise Control- as tempting as it may be to use cruise control during slow speeds, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration recommends all drivers to never use cruise control.

Avoid Abrupt Actions While Driving

It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on wet, icy, or snowy roads. Making any abrupt actions such as high-speed lane changes or braking can cause severe accidents. Your brakes do not operate the same on slick roads, so it is important to have an understanding of how your brakes function. Driving smoothly is the best way to keep you and others safe. Never slam your brakes and try to use them as little as possible. Coming to a complete stop at a light can cause you to get stuck. When approaching a hill, you should keep consistent speed or slowly increase your speed before hitting the hill. Applying extra gas on slick roads will only cause you to lose control. Never brake going up a hill, this will leave you unable to travel much further. If you’re braking, limit the amount of steering. This is the exact opposite when approaching a turn, as little to no braking should happen. Remember the less steering you do, the safer you will be. If you’re turning, you don’t want to be braking. Keep a firm grip on your steering wheel at all times and steer carefully to avoid an accident.

Skilled Personal Injury Attorneys in Waterbury, Norwalk, and Danbury

At The Law Offices of James A. Welcome, our priority is to keep all Connecticut drivers safe during all weather conditions. Even after you follow the above safety tips, other drivers may fail to abide by posted speed limits and will make irresponsible driving decisions that may cause an accident. When proving negligence in your auto accident case it’s important to understand that insurance companies will protect the interests of their clients firmly. When involved in an accident, you will need a skilled and experienced Connecticut attorney to represent you and prove negligence. To ensure you receive the highest financial recovery in your case reach out to Attorney James A. Welcome today. (203) 753-7300 | welcomelawfirm.com