Car accidents can happen just about any time, and the risk of being involved in a wreck increases in bad weather. Heavy rain, slick roads, and poor visibility can all have an impact on a driver’s ability to control their vehicle. It becomes even more dangerous when drivers don’t take precautions to try to prevent accidents in bad weather.
Sooner or later, there will come a time when you have to drive in conditions that are less than ideal or even extremely hazardous. When the weather is affecting road conditions or visibility, it’s important to do everything you can to stay safe.
Make Sure Your Vehicle is Ready for Anything
One of the first things you need to do to protect yourself from ending up in trouble on the road is to always keep your vehicle in top running condition. It’s a good idea to have routine maintenance done on your vehicle on a regular basis, such as when seasons change. Things that should be done regularly include:
- Oil change
- Check the heating and air conditioning system
- Inspect and rotate tires
- Check windshield wipers
- Check battery condition and performance
Carry emergency essentials in your car such as a flashlight, water, and a tool kit. If driving in bad winter weather, keep a blanket in your car along with an ice scraper, a shovel and a bag of salt.
Driving Reminders in Bad Weather
It’s surprising how many drivers think they can drive the same way in bad weather that they do when conditions are clear and dry. In bad weather, you need to slow down. Set your headlights to “auto” or be sure to turn them on early in the morning and whenever visibility is decreased for any reason. Allow plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
While cruise control is a handy feature under normal conditions, it can be dangerous to use when conditions are hazardous. If it’s raining heavily, your vehicle could begin to hydroplane if you apply the brakes. This could make relying on cruise control dangerous. Make sure you and your passengers wear a seatbelt, particularly in bad weather. In extremely bad conditions, such as thick fog or violent storms, pull off the road until it’s safe to drive. Come to a gradual stop wherever it’s safe to do so, and avoid slamming on the brakes.
Avoiding Distracted Driving
Distractions are pretty much constant in today’s world, but it’s important to avoid distractions to the best of your ability whenever driving, particularly when conditions are poor. Avoid paying attention to texts or phone calls or getting drawn into discussions or arguments with passengers.
It’s important to be alert while driving, not only in case of unexpected things that may happen because of heavy wind, rain or ice but also because of the behavior of other drivers. Some drivers may be slow to react when something unexpected happens, while others may overcorrect and lose control of their vehicle. In either situation, you need to be alert and ready to handle anything that happens.
Accidents in Bad Weather
It’s not always easy to determine who is at fault when accidents occur in bad weather. Sometimes one driver is clearly negligent, driving too fast for conditions or driving under the influence of mind-altering substances. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone who was negligent while driving in bad weather, fill out our contact form to get in touch with Taos Injury Lawyers. We will get back to you promptly so we can discuss the circumstances that led to your accident and see if we can help.