“I can feel it, comin’ in the air tonight…”
Sting sang those lyrics over two decades ago, but he probably wasn’t talking about the weather. However, if you are like the rest of San Diego and Southern California, you can’t help but feel that those lines apply to the current storm system that we are caught up in. It started on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and does not look like it will let up until the weekend.
What does this mean for you when you are out there on the road? It means that you need to be extra alter and make sure that you have all your safety precautions in place and to do so, here’s a list of safety tips for bad weather driving that can prevent an auto accident during these storms.
It might not always be readily apparent, but our firm’s experienced car accident lawyers would rather prevent an accident on the road rather than have to see personal injuries or wrongful deaths result from a crash. Bad weather conditions — from the rain that we are getting this week to the snow that hits the highland areas — greatly increase your chances of getting into an accident. We all want to get home safe and therefore, here are eight driving tips for both adult and teen drivers to stay safe in poor weather.
1. Slow Down
It’s the standard rule for bad weather conditions on not only the highways, but the neighborhood and side roads as well. When the asphalt on the road is slick, it takes longer for cars to come to a full stop and the slower you go, the more reaction time you will have to brake later on.
2. Increase Driving Distance
There is usually no reason to be two-feet behind the car in front of you, so why do it when the wind is howling and its raining cats and dogs? Rear-end accidents are common occurrences during bad weather driving, but they can be avoided by keeping an open space the length of one and half cars between you and the vehicle ahead. That way a sudden stop and you’ve got enough room to slow down without hitting the car in front of you.
3. Turn On Your Headlights
Even if it’s the middle of the day — a time when you wouldn’t normally do this — make sure that you have your headlights on. This is not only going to increase your visibility, but will let other drivers out on the road see you.
4. Avoid Lane Changes When Possible
We all want to make it to our destination as soon as possible, especially when the sky has turned nasty. A lot of us are guilty of shifting in and out of traffic, making unsafe lane changes to find the one that is moving the quickest, but this can be a hazard when the roads are icy, snowy, or slick. Pick one lane for as long as you can and go with the flow of traffic.
5. Approach Intersections With Caution
Just because a light is red or there is a stop sign does not mean that other drivers will stop. That’s in good weather, too, but when it turns for the worst, drivers sometimes are unable to stop when going through a traffic light or stop sign. When going through an intersection, check to make sure that no other cars are about to enter the crossway so that you do not get side-swiped by an out-of-control driver.
6. Keep Windows Clear
Are your wiper-blades up to snuff and ready to handle massive amounts of rain? Better double check the next time you are in the shop. And if you find yourself trapped in a snow storm, be sure to have a brush/scraper combo-tool ready to clear all the snow and ice off your windows.
7. Have An Emergency Kit Prepared
Car accidents happen, but when bad weather is the cause behind it all, then getting help to arrive on the scene might take longer. Make an emergency kit for yourself, complete with the following:
- cell phone
- jumper cables
- flashlight and batteries
- a bag of sand or salt to be used for tire traction (if you are stuck)
- warning flares/signs
- a first-aid kit
- nonperishable foods, with cup for melting snow
- a candle and matches
The car accident lawyers who work at our firm want to make sure that you are protected with knowledge out on the road, come rain or come shine. Following these tips can help you to avoid personal injuries, property damage, or wrongful deaths out on the road. Let’s get home safe and leave old man winter out in the cold!
What do you think about this article? Do you have any other tips?
Call us now at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer and find out how we can help you. We speak English and Spanish, and we look forward to providing advice for your case. No fee if no recovery.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines