There is no doubt that driving is a dangerous undertaking. Add to this bad weather and the risks associated with driving increase substantially. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that bad weather accounts for nearly 21 percent of all car accidents on American roads.
Some accidents are unavoidable. However, there are certain steps you can take to minimize the possibility of a car accident while driving in bad weather. Here are some of these steps:
Be visible, as you increase your visibility
Snow, rain and fog – all reduce the driver’s visibility of the road as well as other vehicles. As such, it is important that you are visible to the other road users. This is why it is important that you turn on your lights while driving in bad weather. Remember, if the other motorists can see you, then they will be less likely to hit you.
Still on visibility, it is important that you turn your signals on so other motorists can know your intended actions. Remember, since the road will likely be slippery, cars’ traction and maneuverability will be greatly affected. As a result, they will not be able to slow down fast enough if the need arises.
Bad weather makes driving on any road extremely hazardous. Thus, when driving in bad weather, it makes sense to drive slower than you normally would. As a general rule, keep a safe distance of about 3 seconds from the car in front so you have adequate room to maneuver or stop should there be an emergency. And if you have to make an abrupt stop, do not slam on your brakes. Rather, slowly and controllably pump your brakes to avoid spinning out.
Each year, thousands of weather-related accidents happen throughout the U.S. While no one can control the weather, knowing your rights can help you pursue the damages you deserve if you are involved in a car accident that is not your fault.