Whether you’re a newcomer to Colorado or have lived here for decades, it never hurts to make sure you’re ready to drive in winter weather. Doing so can help you avoid causing a collision and limit your liability in a personal injury claim if an accident does happen.
With that in mind, we’ve prepared some safe driving tips for winter weather in Colorado. We hope that you’ll walk away with new skills and considerations that protect you and your loved ones when rain, snow, ice, and fog are on the road.
Tip 1: Winterize Your Vehicle
Our first driving tip actually doesn’t have much to do with driving at all. Rather, it involves preparing your vehicle for winter weather.
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to do the following:
- Have a mechanic perform an inspection on your vehicle, especially your engine and brakes.
- Change your engine oil to an all-season or winter mixture.
- Make sure all other fluids are filled.
- Make sure all of your lights are working and clear. If anything looks dim, replace the bulb before it burns out!
- Clean your wiper blades or switch to winter blades
- Ensure your tires are inflated to the appropriate PSI
- Consider changing your tires to snow tires
- Make sure you have chains in the trunk if you don’t wish to change to snow tires
A little bit of winter weather prep can ensure that your vehicle functions as safely as possible, which can avoid a malfunction that could cause a car accident or leave you stranded.
Tip 2: Slow Down!
Whenever there’s inclement weather, the safest thing to do – if you must drive at all – is to slow down. Whether it’s snow, ice, rain, or fog, driving too fast can prevent you from seeing obstacles soon enough, give you less time to make a good decision to avoid an accident, and cause you to lose control of your vehicle when you make an evasive maneuver.
Avoid tailgating other drivers, too. Even if you’re in a hurry or upset with how someone else is driving, tailgating is never a safe driving behavior and it winter weather only makes it more dangerous. If someone else is tailgating you, keep an eye on them to make sure they aren’t getting too close. When possible, pull over to allow them to pass. Even if it seems unfair, it’s preferable to becoming injured in a collision.
Tip 3: Be Careful When Braking
Braking in winter weather can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, especially when you brake too hard or too often at high speed. Driving slower and using your brakes only when you need them can help you avoid losing traction in snow and ice or hydroplaning on a rain-soaked road.
Tip 4: Plan Your Route
The longer you’re on the road in winter weather, your chances of becoming involved in an accident go up. You can cut down on the time you spend on the road by mapping out an efficient route to get to your destination. Avoid detours from your route as much as possible, unless one allows you to travel more safely.
Tip 5: Check the Weather Forecast
Before getting in your car, check the weather forecast to see what conditions will look like when and where you expect to be on the road. If you can’t avoid driving through inclement weather, having a heads-up will at least give you ample warning of what to expect.
Tip 6: Avoid Drinking & Driving
You should always avoid driving while intoxicated by alcohol, especially during winter weather. The additional challenges of driving through snow, ice, and rain mean that you should be as alert and careful as possible. Alcohol and drugs impair your ability to make important decisions on the road, which can unnecessarily cause a seriously injurious or even deadly accident.
Contact an Attorney for Legal Assistance
The only fool-proof way to avoid becoming injured in a car accident is to never leave your home, but this is unreasonable. Although you can do a lot to drive safer in winter weather, your chances of becoming involved in an accident are never zero.
If you are injured in a winter-weather car accident, our personal injury attorneys at Orr Law Firm can help. With many years of experience helping our clients seek compensation for their injuries, we can develop a personalized legal strategy to protect your recovery when you’re not more at fault for causing an accident.
Learn more about our representation by contacting Orr Law Firm online today.