The inclement weather we battle during the winter months can feel never-ending. In addition to possible snowfall, there is more likely to be fog and even increased incidences of heavy rains. Each of these inclement weather patterns poses unique risks to drivers in Kentucky winters. To help you stay safe this season, we want to review some winter road hazards and discuss safety measures you can take to help combat the dangers they pose.
Be Careful of Winter Road Hazards
Snowy and icy conditions are perhaps the most common hazards associated with winter driving. Snowfall can significantly reduce visibility and can also, of course, make for slick and icy road surfaces where tires can have difficulty finding and maintaining traction. When you are driving in snowy or icy conditions, be sure to increase your distance from other vehicles as much as possible. Additionally, reduce your speed to a slow and steady pace. All of this can significantly increase cushion time should you need to quickly react and brake suddenly. Maintaining a slower speed and keeping your distance can greatly help reduce the chance that you will impact another vehicle.
Slick and icy roads can also increase the risk of skidding or hydroplaning. When one tire suddenly gets more traction or a firmer grip on the roadway than the other tires, skidding or spinning occurs and a vehicle can quickly begin to slide out of control. To prevent this, driving slower and as straight as possible can greatly help. Maintaining greater distance between your vehicles and others can help reduce the chance of your car impacting with others in the event of a skid or spin. Driving in the tire tracks left behind other vehicles can also help avoid skidding.
Should your car ever start to skid or hydroplane, stop accelerating. Do not, however, brake. Steer your car away from hazards and, should the skid continue and turn into a spin, turn into the skid. Once the tires have a grip on the roadway once again, accelerate slowly.
Foggy conditions are also a common hazard of winter roadways. The biggest threat of fog, of course, comes with significantly reduced visibility. It is also, however, easy to forget that fog can also make roadways very wet and slick. Some of the best things you can do in foggy conditions are to reduce your speed and increase your distance between other vehicles. You should also remember to turn on your headlights, but avoid using your high beams as high beams will reflect off of thick fog and make visibility even worse. Low beam headlights, however, will help increase your visibility and the ability of others to see your car. Some cars are even equipped with fog lights in these particular circumstances.
If you are in a hilly country, be especially cautious in foggy conditions. Cresting hills and rounding curves can be particularly treacherous in the fog. Make yourself as visible to other drivers as possible. This means using your turn signal well in advance of a turn or lane change. It also means tapping your brakes when slowing or stopping to alert drivers behind you.
Kentucky Personal Injury Attorney
At Dickman Law, we want you and your loved ones to stay safe on the roads this winter season and throughout the year. If someone has been driving recklessly in winter conditions and you have been injured as a result, we are here to help you get monetary compensation for the harm you have suffered. Contact us today.