As people in Seattle know, winters in the Pacific Northwest can be cold, rainy and even snowy. Whether or not you are looking forward to winter, it is important to be prepared for winter driving, both for your own safety and the safety of others.
Safety tips for winter driving
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety offers some tips for winter driving.
One option, if possible, is to simply stay at home when winter weather strikes. Only leave your home for essential purposes. It is easy to be overconfident in your driving skills, but winter weather is unpredictable and even good drivers can have a difficult time controlling their vehicle on icy roads.
A second tip is to watch your speed. If you are driving on icy roads it can make it difficult to drive at the posted speed limit. Your traction suffers and if you do not accelerate or decelerate slowly you could end up fishtailing or even spinning off the road. Keep in mind that it takes longer to come to a stop on icy roads.
A third tip is to avoid tailgating. It takes longer to slow down on slick roads. If the car in front of you comes to a stop and you are following too closely it is easy to cause a rear-end accident, especially when visibility is limited.
Finally, take care when driving on hills in the winter. If you put the pedal to the metal when trying to go up a hill, it will simply make your wheels. Instead, use inertia when approaching the hill and let that force carry you up the hill. While going up a hill, do not stop or you could end up sliding back down it.
Avoid negligent driving this winter
If a driver fails to follow the above tips, it is likely they could end up causing a car crash. All drivers are tasked with driving as a reasonable, prudent person would in similar circumstances. If this duty is broken and results in a car wreck that injures someone else, the negligent driver could face a lawsuit. The best protection is to drive defensively and understand how to drive on slick roads or with limited visibility.