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Defensive Driving in the Winter

It’s no secret that driving in the winter can become treacherous in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Ice and snow can make for slippery roads and poor visibility which in turn cause more accidents than in the summer months. Below are the typical types of accidents you will see in winter and how you can adjust your defensive driving style to help avoid them.

defensive driving in the winter

Sliding Through Intersections

Vehicles sliding through an intersection or through a red light are a common cause of accidents in the winter season. While you can blame the ice and slippery roads for an accident, the insurance companies consider the driver liable for the resulting accident. The best way to avoid sliding through an intersection/red light is to approach slowly and with great caution. Start slowing down well before actually stopping. If you have the opportunity and can do it safely, test your braking well before the intersection.

Poor Visibility

Quickly accumulating snow on roadsides as well as blowing snow and blizzard conditions are all major factors to car accidents during winter by poor visibility. Run-ins with inanimate objects hidden by roadside snow banks, such as fire hydrants or mailboxes are very common single vehicle accidents. Another major factor in poor visibility causing winter accidents is blowing snow. Blowing snow can dramatically decrease visibility on the road, especially going into intersections and in the dark. If it is absolutely necessary to drive in these conditions, take driving very slowly and cautiously. Be extra alert and vigilant with your surroundings and watch for vehicles quickly approaching you. Also, put your hazard lights on if you are driving well below the speed limit

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end accidents are the most common type, especially in the winter months. When the roads are slippery, wet and icy, it is necessary to provide extra distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. If you are forced to brake suddenly as a result of the vehicle in front of you braking, the extra distance could save you from a rear-end collision. Remember to adjust your distance to the conditions of the roads you are traveling on.

Defensive Driving Tips

  • Avoid having to quickly slow down. Keep your distance between the vehicles in front of you and maintain a steady speed.
  • Don’t turn or brake sharply
  • Slow your speed while taking turns or curves and avoid braking in curves
  • Avoid driving beside another vehicle if possible
  • Leave plenty of extra distance between you and the vehicle in front of you
  • Always drive with your headlights on
  • Brush off all snow and ice completely from your vehicle before driving on the roads

If you, a family member or loved one has been injured in an accident during winter weather caused by someone else who was driving irresponsibly, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a car accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with car accident claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.

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Attorney Charlie Contrada has been practicing law since 1979, focusing his career on personal injury, car accident, and mesothelioma cases. Over the years, Charlie has helped thousands of clients throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan to receive the settlements that they deserve.