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How to Drive Safely in Inclement Weather

How to Drive Safely in Inclement Weather

More than five million auto accidents occur in the United States each year. Of these crashes, about 22 percent are caused by adverse weather conditions. Therefore, it can be beneficial for drivers to know how to stay safe while traveling in rainy, snowy or foggy conditions. Here are some tips on how to drive safely in inclement weather. Contact a Philadelphia accident attorney if you were involved in an auto accident.

Check Your Vehicle Every Week

It's easy to neglect important vehicle maintenance duties. That's why you may want to create some kind of reminder system. About once a week, you should check your tires, windshield wipers and brakes for any signs of wear and tear. Tires that don't have enough tread or aren't properly inflated may not grip the road properly. If brakes are squeaky, they may need to be replaced. Failing to do so could result in an inability to stop quickly on wet roads.

If your windshield wipers are faulty or too old, they could either scratch the windshield itself or cause streaks. Insufficient wiper fluid will make it difficult to clear debris off your windshield. This could seriously affect visibility when inclement weather arrives. Ideally, you will want to periodically inflate your tires, change your wiper blades or engage in other maintenance to reduce your odds of getting into a crash.

Drive with Your Headlights On

To increase your visibility on the road, be sure to drive with your headlights on, even during the day. However, you should not always use high beams. Unfortunately, these lights will hurt your ability to see when there is heavy snow, rain or fog. This is because the light will reflect off of the moisture.

Refrain from Braking Too Quickly

When driving in rainy or snowy conditions, your tires may not make solid contact with the ground. Therefore, it is possible that braking too quickly will result in the vehicle skidding or sliding off of the road. To reduce your chances of having to brake suddenly, reduce your speed and increase your following distance. It may also be a good idea to plan out your route ahead of time so that you know what lane you'll need to be in on a major highway.

How to Drive Safely in Inclement Weather

Know How to Handle a Skid or Slide

If your vehicle ever starts to slide or skid on the road, you may feel the urge to slam on your brakes as hard as possible. However, the best thing to do is to steer into the skid without hitting either the brake or the gas pedal. Once you regain control of your vehicle, you can gently tap the brakes if necessary.

To reduce your odds of skidding or sliding in snow or heavy rain, put chains on your tires or drive a vehicle that has a traction control feature. Those who have older vehicles may want to consider putting extra weight in the back. This will provide more balance and thus better control in slippery conditions.

Keep Your Focus on the Road

While staying focused is good advice regardless of the road conditions, it can be especially helpful during times of poor weather. If the conditions cause a fellow motorist to slide into a ditch or collide with somebody or something, it can be tempting to stare. However, this only increases the chances that you'll get into an accident yourself. You may want to call for help or provide assistance once you have come to a safe stop.

It's important to avoid using a smartphone in a moving vehicle, especially when visibility is low. Furthermore, you shouldn't drive if you feel impaired in any way or are tired. By keeping your focus on the road, you can drive defensively and avoid potentially dangerous situations. However, if you are involved in an accident because another driver was inattentive, a Philadelphia accident lawyer or Allentown accident lawyer will be ready to help.

Stay Away from Larger Vehicles

It may be beneficial for those in smaller passenger vehicles to give larger commercial trucks more space when it is raining or snowing. The same rule generally applies when you see a salt truck or snowplow on the road. By keeping your distance, you could avoid having salt or snow thrown onto your vehicle. Large trucks are also notorious for producing road spray that can significantly reduce your visibility while driving.

If you are looking for a Philadelphia accident attorney, call our office at (215)-567-6616. You can also find legal services after an accident by calling our Lehigh Valley office at (610)-435-7400

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