In Atlantic Canada, we’re no strangers to harsh winters and the hazardous road conditions that come with them. We do our fair share of driving on snowy, icy roads, but winter driving is dangerous and puts you at risk of accidents and injuries.
The best way to avoid an accident during bad winter weather is to just stay home, but that’s not always possible. Here are some precautions you can take to help avoid an accident when staying home isn’t an option:
Get winter tires
The rubber compound in all-season tires starts to freeze when temperatures drop below 7° Celsius, and we all know it gets much colder than that here in Atlantic Canada. Swapping them out for winter tires on your car or truck will improve your traction on icy roads and has been proven to reduce accidents. It may seem like a pain to switch tires twice a year, but it is worth it to keep you and your family safe on the roads.
Clear the snow off your car
Snow on your car or truck will reduce your visibility and that of others when it blows off yours and onto theirs. Even if you’re in a rush, take the time to brush off the snow and scrape off the ice before you get going. Keep a brush and scraper in your car for easy access.
Speed limits are set with normal conditions in mind. When the roads are bad, take your foot off the gas and slow down.
Keep your distance from other cars
When the roads are slippery, your traction decreases and your braking distance increases, even if you have winter tires. If you need to stop suddenly, you will need more room than usual to do so. Keep more distance between your car and the car in front of you when driving in poor conditions.
Prep your windshield wipers and fluid
Make sure that your wipers are in good condition. Replace blades that streak and buy wipers specifically designed for winter. Use winter washer fluid in the -40°C temperature range and store an extra jug in your vehicle in case you need a refill while you are out.
Pull off the road if you need to
If you get caught in a white-out or a blizzard, look for a place to pull completely off the road, like a gas station, a rest stop, or a hotel. Pulling over on the shoulder should be avoided – other drivers might not see you (especially in low visibility conditions) and could run into your vehicle.
Keep an eye on the weather
If you know you’ll need to drive, keep an eye on the weather forecast in your area so you can prepare accordingly. If a blizzard is coming, make arrangements to avoid driving if you can. Staying at home during a storm is a minor inconvenience compared to the injuries and upheaval that a serious accident will cause.
We hope you don’t get into an accident this winter, or any other time of year. But if you do, Fidelis Law is in your corner. We’ll be here to protect your rights, stand up to the insurance companies for you, and get you the compensation you deserve after an accident.
Winter roads can be a mess, but dealing with a motor vehicle accident claim can be even messier. Our experienced car accident lawyers are here to deal with the paperwork and legal issues so you don’t have to.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact us today for a free consultation. You won’t have to pay us until we win your claim.