Winter is here and driving habits should be adapted

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For residents of Columbus, Ohio, driving in snow and ice is part of living in this part of the country. While some people opt for staying at home when winter weather hits, many others head out. As the winter season gears up, it is a good time to review a few winter safe driving tips.

The first thing that all drivers should do when driving in snowy and icy road conditions brought on by winter weather is to slow down. Speeds that are safe to travel at on dry roads during other times of the year do not apply. This could mean that one has to travel at a speed that is well below the posted limit. In conjunction with this, it is good idea to avoid making any sudden stops, starts or turns. Depending on the condition of the road, these types of actions could cause one to lose control of the vehicle and lead to a motor vehicle accident.

Slick roads should prompt drivers to stop using cruise control as well. While for many the use of this system that keeps the speed one travels constant, is habit when driving long distances, in the winter it should be shut off. While taking one’s foot off the accelerator to slow down is one of the best things to do when a patch of ice is encountered, cruise control does not allow that reduction in speed making it harder to stay in control of a vehicle.

Making sure one is not following the car in front of it too closely is also important. The slippery roads could make it impossible to stop suddenly, leading to a crash. In some cases even a small accident could lead to a secondary crash.

The condition of one’s car is also important once winter weather descends. Good tires and windshield wipers that work could make the difference between a car accident occurring or not occurring. Unrelated to a crash, being prepared with blankets, warm clothes, a flashlight and cell phone in case the car becomes stranded somewhere is also a good idea.

As is the case any other time of the year, when a driver acting negligently causes an injury inducing accident, the injured parties may seek compensation via a personal injury lawsuit. The best place to start in those instances is by consulting a lawyer who handles such cases.

Source: AOL Autos., “5 Key Steps To Staying Safe In Winter Driving,” Michael Zak, Feb 22, 2013