A long, snowy winter is predicted for the Mid-Atlantic states, including Washington, DC. Are you and your vehicle prepared? Each year our personal injury lawyers in Washington DC handle accidents in which dangerous weather conditions play a contributing role. Often the best advice for drivers during periods of inclement weather is simply to just to stay off the road. We know that this isn’t possible for most people due to work and other responsibilities. So, if it is not possible for you to remain where you are and wait out the bad weather, our personal injury lawyers in Washington DC suggest you follow the below advice from the AAA.
- Do not use cruise control when driving on snow and ice. Slippery road conditions can easily lead a driver to lose control of a vehicle and if your car hydroplanes with cruise control on, then the car can accelerate to a higher speed. This rule applies to driving in the rain as well. In inclement weather, it is wise that a driver be in full control and manually control the car’s speed.
- Do not mix radial and non-radial tires. Mixing different tires can lead to inconsistent handling of the vehicle, which can cause accidents. This is especially true in dangerous road conditions caused by inclement weather.
- Slow down. With slippery road conditions, speeding is even more dangerous and it becomes harder to control a car.
- Don’t heat up your car in an enclosed space. This is not road-accident related, but we still think this piece of advice very important. It may be tempting to warm your car in a garage before braving the cold. However, the carbon monoxide levels in gas fumes can turn lethal within two minutes when confined to a small space—even if the garage door is open.
- Whenever possible, avoid using your handbrake in cold, rainy and snowy weather. Handbrake cables are often exposed to the elements and can easily freeze in place. This freezing may lead some to attempt to thaw the handbrake. This can be highly dangerous! Some people have even taken a blow torch to this region, not realizing the open flame was underneath the gas tank.
Accidents can also occur after the snow as cleared, as a result of snow melting and refreezing or falling from the roofs of passing vehicles, which obstructs other driver’s vision. Be sure to clear the snow from your vehicle before getting on the road.
Unfortunately, even when drivers are cautious, accidents related to winter weather occur, especially on busy travel holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. If you find yourself in a winter or snow storm accident, it is advisable that all parties involved seek proper medical attention. After which, you may wish to consult with an auto accident lawyer in Washington DC.
The roads in Washington, DC can be highly dangerous, especially during the winter months. If you have been injured in a winter driving accident, contact Cohen & Cohen PC for a free consultation today.