Winter can be a dangerous time of year for drivers in Boston, Back Bay, Fenway, North End, South End, Allston, Beacon Hill, Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and surrounding areas. The winter brings with it fog, snow, rain, and icy and wet pavements. A personal injury lawyer knows that these weather conditions can all increase the chance that a motor vehicle collision will occur.
The Federal Highway Administration estimates that around 23 percent of motor vehicle collisions within the United States occur as a result of bad weather conditions. Drivers need to know that almost a quarter of crashes involve poor weather and they need to make safe choices to avoid becoming victims. AAA has some tips for motorists on how to stay safe now that the cold and snow have arrived in Massachusetts.
Tips to be a Safer Winter Driver This Year
Drivers need to adjust their behavior during the winter when the weather is bad. AAA recommends:
- Listening to a weather forecast before leaving the house. If the weather is expected to be bad, you may want to postpone trips that are not essential. It is especially important to check for weather conditions before you travel to more remote or isolated places where the roads are less likely to have been cleared of snow and where there may not be anyone around to help you if a collision happens.
- Slowing down during bad weather drives. Normally, you are pretty safe from a rear-end crash if you leave around a three to four second following distance between you and the lead vehicle as this can give you plenty of time to stop if something unexpected happens. During the winter, it takes longer to stop and there's a greater chance of a skid on icy or wet roads. Increase your following distance to between eight and 10 seconds to reduce the risk you'll hit the car in front of yours.
- Brake safely. You should not ever slam on the brakes when driving because you could skid out of control. If you have antilock brakes, you'll want to keep the heel of your foot flat on the ground and use the ball of your foot to carefully apply firm and steady pressure to brake. If you have not driven in winter or aren't experienced at this, it is a good idea to practice braking in a parking lot before going out on the roads to do it.
- Make sure your gas tank stays at least half full. Keeping the tank close to full will help to prevent the freezing of your gas lines. It will also ensure if you get stuck in a blizzard or traffic jam caused by bad weather that you don't run out of gas right away.
These are just a few key considerations for how to stay safer on the roads this winter. Making smart driving decisions and exercising care all times is key to avoiding a collision.
Boston accident victims may contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone at 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 or can visit www.marksalomone.com. Serving Boston, Back Bay, Fenway, North End, South End, Allston, Beacon Hill, Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and surrounding areas