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Staying safe on winter roads

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2017 | Car Accidents

In Virginia, winter can be a stressful and dangerous time for drivers. Ice and snow are the cause of a majority of car accidents in this time. Ice doesn’t allow the tires to get a good grip on the road, making it hard to steer and brake, and black ice can deceive many drivers with its wet appearance.

This is why winterizing vehicles is so essential to staying safe. This doesn’t mean simply using snow chains or buying snow tires; it also covers a range of maintenance tasks. Drivers should inspect the lights, wiper blades, heater and defroster. The exhaust should be free of debris. The antifreeze should be half mixed with water to keep it from freezing. Tire pressure should be checked because cold temperatures can deflate tires.

Once on the road, drivers should make sure to maintain a reasonable speed and a fair distance from the car in front of them because ice and snow increase braking distance. Snowplows should be given plenty of space, at least 200 feet. Drivers should also plan ahead and give themselves more time for getting to their destination. When driving through snow in the daytime, it’s best to keep the headlights on. Cruise control is never recommended in the winter because it can slow down reaction time.

When drivers fail to take these precautions and cause rear-end collisions, broadsides, and other accidents, they may be liable for any damage they cause. Victims may be able to file an injury claim to be compensated for vehicle damage, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Once a lawyer sees that the victim was not at fault, he or she might build up the case and proceed to negotiations.