If you have spent any time in Washington during the winter, then you know that all of the snow and rain can make driving a tricky proposition. The consistent rain throughout the year can make you underestimate the danger when the colder months arrive, which could be an invitation to a dangerous auto accident.
Plus, cold temperatures and lots of precipitation means that there may be black ice on the roads; this nearly invisible ice could cause you to lose control of your vehicle at times when visibility is low.
All of these dangers can lead to serious and sometimes tragic car crashes. Read on for some tips about staying safe in these wintry conditions from our Washington car accident lawyers at the Gilbert Law Firm.
Smart Tips for Driving Safe this Winter
Here are some of the most effective ways to be a safe driver in winter weather that we have found:
- Don’t drive if you don’t have to—it goes without saying that you virtually can’t have a car accident if your car is safely stored in your garage.
- Slow down—there is no place you need to be that it requires jeopardizing your life. Drive slowly, especially at night, in poor weather conditions, or in areas where you are unsure about road conditions.
- Keep your headlights on—if you are driving in rain, sleet or snow, remember to keep your headlights on. Not only will it improve your ability to read the terrain around you, but it should also make you more visible to other drivers.
- Give yourself room—the last thing you want to do is crowd other cars and especially those in front of you. Give yourself plenty of room to brake or maneuver if road conditions are bad.
- Eliminate distractions—it is more important than ever to keep both hands on the steering wheel when the weather is bad. Don’t text or talk on the phone. It is even a bad idea to drink coffee or change radio stations.
- Don’t drive under the influence—the winter months mean you will probably be celebrating during the holidays. It is absolutely imperative that you don’t drive if you have been drinking or taking drugs. Call a taxi or Uber or have a friend drive you.
How to Prepare for Winter Driving in Washington State
Long before the first snowflakes fall, you should be preparing your vehicle for winter driving.
- Maintain your car—stick to a regular schedule of maintenance and oil changes. Monitor your tire pressure and tread.
- Emergency supplies—be sure to keep tire chains, cell phone, phone charger, flares, first aid kit, blankets, food, water, and flashlights in your car in case of an emergency.
- Keep your tank full—never let your gas tank fall below half full. You could get caught in a severe weather event or traffic jam that could keep you in your car for hours, and you don’t want to lose heat or run out of gas far from home.
- Replace your wipers—new windshield wipers can greatly improve visibility and make it easier to drive in adverse conditions.
- Practice putting on tire chains—it is a good idea to try putting on tire chains so that you understand the procedure.
If You Have an Accident in Washington State, Call the Gilbert Law Firm
As one of Spokane’s leading personal injury law firms, the Gilbert Law Firm works to help families obtain the compensation they deserve after a car accident happens. We have a reputation of fighting for our clients at the negotiating table and in the courtroom.
To speak to an experienced Washington car accident lawyer, contact the Gilbert Law Firm today.