2. Slow Down and Increase Following Distance
Speeding is a common cause of winter accidents and tickets. Remember, speed limits are set for ideal conditions:
- Reduce Your Speed: Adjust your speed to match the road conditions, even if it means going below the posted limit.
- Increase Following Distance: It takes longer to stop on icy roads. Increase your following distance to at least 8 to 10 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.
3. Use Caution on Ice and Snow
Black ice and snow-packed roads are particularly hazardous:
- Beware of Black Ice: Especially common in the early morning or at night, black ice is nearly invisible. Be particularly cautious on bridges and overpasses.
- Snow Handling: If driving in snow, accelerate and decelerate slowly. Make turns gently and avoid sudden stops.
4. Keep Your Vehicle Clear
In many places, it’s a legal requirement to remove ice and snow from your car before driving:
- Clear Your Car: Clear all windows, mirrors, lights, and the roof of your car to ensure good visibility and prevent ice from flying off and endangering others.
5. Be Prepared for Emergencies
Always have an emergency kit in your car, especially in winter. This should include:
- Emergency Supplies: Blankets, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, snacks, water, a snow shovel, and sand or kitty litter for traction if you get stuck.
- Stay Charged: Keep your phone charged in case you need to call for help.
6. Practice Safe Winter Driving Techniques
Familiarize yourself with winter driving practices:
- Skid Control: If you start to skid, remain calm, and steer in the direction you want to go. Avoid slamming on the brakes.
- Use Your Headlights: Turn on your headlights to increase your visibility to other drivers.
7. Plan Your Travel
Avoid unnecessary risks by planning:
- Check the Weather: Before heading out, check the weather and road conditions. If conditions are bad, consider whether your travel is essential.
- Inform Others: Let someone know your route and expected arrival time.
8. Know When to Stay Put
Sometimes, the safest decision is not to drive at all. If conditions are particularly bad, it might be best to stay off the road until they improve.
Winter driving requires extra caution and preparation. By following these tips, you can reduce your risk of accidents and traffic violations during the winter months. However, if you do find yourself facing a traffic ticket or involved in an accident, consulting with a traffic ticket lawyer can provide you with the necessary guidance and representation. Stay safe and vigilant on the roads this winter!