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Tips for Driving in the Snow this Winter

Colburn Law

While snow can be beautiful, wintery weather can pose unique risks for drivers. There is always a risk that a car will slip, break down, or skid off the road when it snows. In these situations, it is best to be prepared.

There are a few things that drivers should know before heading out into snowy or icy weather conditions. If you plan on taking a trip this winter, keep the following tips in mind to protect yourself and other people in your vehicle.

tips for driving in the snow safely

#1: Stay Alert and Drive Slowly

When it is snowing, it is best to avoid the roads as much as you can. If you do need to drive, you should stay focused and alert at all times. Keep an eye on the road and the drivers around you. Be prepared to act in case a dangerous situation occurs.

You should also drive at slower speeds. When the roads are snowy or icy, driving fast can cause you to slip and lose control of your vehicle. To avoid an accident, reduce your speed accordingly to account for dangerous conditions while driving in the snow.

#2: Increase Your Following Distance

To avoid rear-end accidents, drivers should keep a safe distance behind the vehicles in front of them. When driving in the snow, it is important to increase this distance in case you need to stop unexpectedly. 

Snow and ice can cause your car to slide further or take a longer time to come to a stop. For your safety and the safety of others on the road, stay approximately five to six seconds behind the other vehicle.

#3: Check Your Tires

Tire pressure can decrease in the winter, which can make it dangerous to drive in the snow. When the temperature starts to drop, check your tire pressure to ensure that it meets recommended levels of inflation. The colder it gets, the more your tire pressure will drop, so make sure to check your tires on a regular basis.

You should also ensure that your tires are able to handle snowy conditions. If necessary, make sure to switch out your tires for snow-specific or all-terrain tires, or invest in tire chains. 

#4: Brake Smoothly and Gently

When stopping your vehicle, it is important to avoid sudden movements and stops. Handle your steering wheel gently and avoid slamming on the brakes. Apply firm, steady pressure to come to a gentle stop and stay in control of your vehicle. If you need to accelerate or decelerate, apply gentle pressure on your pedals to avoid skids.

#5: Minimize Distractions

Staying alert is key to staying safe when driving in the snow. Distractions can take your hands, mind, and eyes off the road, which can increase your risk of an accident. When you are driving, make sure to keep electronic devices out of sight and out of reach. Focus your complete attention on driving and avoid speaking to others in the vehicle or participating in other activities that could take your mind off the road.

Contact a Washington Car Accident Lawyer Today

While these tips can help you stay safe, not all motorists are careful in the snow. If you were injured in a car accident while driving on snowy roads, you may be eligible for financial compensation—and a lawyer can help you secure the settlement that you deserve. Contact a Seattle car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your next steps.