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Important Safety Tips for Winter Driving

March 23, 2020

By Van Der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin

Although it happened approximately one month ago, few people in Pennsylvania have forgotten about the 30-vehicle pileup on Interstate 80 in mid-December. The crash was caused by a snow squall that had moved into the area, causing slippery roads and poor visibility. The crash left two people dead and at least 44 others sustained injuries. Pennsylvania still has several weeks of winter left and so, it is important that all motorists understand how to drive safely through winter weather. Below are some of the most important safety tips for winter driving that all drivers should keep in mind.

Conduct a Safety Check

Vehicles go through a lot during the winter. Ice, snow, salt, and dirt are continuously kicked up onto cars, and that can cause big problems. This debris can cake up on headlights and windshields, reducing visibility even further. As such, it is important to ensure that all fluids are topped up before hitting the road. Backups of these should also be kept in the car, particularly when going on longer trips. Headlights and brake lights should also always be checked to ensure they are clean and positioned correctly.

Drivers should also always check their tires and tread, to ensure that their tires are capable of stopping properly. The engine and transmission should also be checked, as these can contract and cause problems with shifting gears, as well as with accelerating and decelerating.

Pack an Emergency Kit

Along with extra bottles of fluids, it is also important to keep an emergency kit in the trunk. Some of the basic supplies to keep in the kit include a shovel and broom in case you need to clear your snow or dig your car out of a snowbank, sand to provide traction, blankets, jumper cables, water, food, and a cellphone charger. Although these kits will not prevent an accident, they can certainly help if you are stranded on the side of the road after being involved in one.

Drive Defensively

Everyone should have defensive driving skills. Two examples of these skills include leaving enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you, and leaving enough space on either side of your vehicle so you know where to steer safely if someone loses control of their vehicle. These skills are always important, but they are even more so when snow, ice, and low visibility create dangerous conditions. Still, if you are going to venture out in bad weather, you are still responsible for driving safely. If you fail to and cause an accident, other drivers can prove you were negligent and hold you liable for paying compensation for the injuries of accident victims.

Hurt in a Winter Accident? Call Our Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyers Now

Driving is sometimes very difficult during the winter months in Pennsylvania. Still, bad weather is no excuse for negligent driving. If you were injured in a crash caused by a careless driver, call our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim today. We are committed to standing up for the rights of accident victims, and we want to help with your case. Call us at (215) 486-0123 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys and to learn more about how we can assist with your claim.


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