Driving in New York City at any time of the year is no easy task. However, when you hit the road in inclement weather, you’ll find it even more challenging to maintain your safety.
Despite the many dangers lurking, here are some tips you can follow to avoid trouble when driving this winter:
- Prepare your vehicle: A well-prepared vehicle is one that’s more likely to keep you safe in cold, snowy and icy weather. For example, check your tire pressure regularly, as too much or too little air impacts your car’s ability to maintain appropriate contact with the road.
- Slow down: Driving too fast in snowy or icy conditions greatly increases the risk of an accident. Even if those around you are driving the normal speed, or faster, there’s nothing wrong with slowing down.
- Beware of black ice: Just because you can’t see ice doesn’t mean it’s not there. Black ice is a thin layer of ice that makes the road appear wet. However, if you hit it driving too fast, there’s a chance you’ll lose control of your vehicle.
- Don’t use cruise control: When driving on the interstate in wintery conditions, turn off your cruise control, as you want to maintain full control over your speed. For example, with cruise control on, you may not have enough time to react to an ice patch you spot on the road ahead.
- Use your headlights: If it’s raining, snowing or foggy, make sure you turn on your headlights. This holds true even during daylight hours. It increases your visibility of the road ahead, while also allowing other drivers to more easily see your vehicle at a distance.
Even when you’re following these safety tips, you may realize that other drivers aren’t taking the same approach. Instead, they’re driving like its 72 degrees and clear.
If a negligent driver causes an accident, move to safety, call 911 and let the responding police officers take control of the scene. Your goal at this point is to receive medical treatment to stabilize your injuries and understand your long-term prognosis.
Once you have a treatment plan in place, file an insurance claim and learn more about your legal rights for holding the negligent driver responsible for their actions.