At the beginning of 2022, Connecticut had terrible freezing rain. Connecticut DOT asked drivers to stay off the road since the freezing rain caused numerous accidents across the state.
Now that we’re nearing the beginning of 2023, Connecticut residents can also expect devastating winter storms this season. So far, Connecticut has been hit with heavy snow, strong winds, and rain. This weather can make driving extremely dangerous.
But what if you must drive in dangerous weather conditions, especially when ice is on the road? Remember these 5 tips to prevent an icy road car accident.
5 Ways to Prevent an Icy Road Car Accident
Before getting behind the wheel when the roads are icy, read these 5 methods to prevent a car accident. This way, you keep yourself and other drivers safe when the weather is harsh.
1. Make Yourself Visible
Visibility is key when driving on icy roads and winter storms. Before driving, you should clear any ice off your windshield and windows. You should also defog your windows. This will improve your visibility, making you more aware of road hazards.
You will also want to keep your headlights on–even when it’s still light outside. This also enhances your visibility, and other cars can see you from a greater distance.
2. Drive Slowly
When the roads are icy, it is integral that you drive slowly. Always drive slower than the posted speed limit. It takes longer to slow down when the roads are icy, so this small action alone can prevent an auto accident. If you need to arrive at your destination in a timely manner, make sure you allow plenty of driving time.
3. Do not Tailgate
Since it takes longer to brake on icy roads, you will need to keep at least 180 feet of stopping distance. Tailgating when the roads are icy increases the likelihood of rear-ending the car in front of you.
4. Avoid Bridges and Overpasses
Bridges and overpasses are more dangerous in the winter. That is because bridges and overpasses lack warmth from the ground; in other words, ice builds quicker on these roads and takes longer to melt. Steep bridges are especially dangerous–your car may not have the traction to climb up the bridge, resulting in you sliding backward.
5. Only Drive If You Need To
Last but not least, only drive on icy roads if necessary. Even if you are a safe driver, driving on icy roads comes with many risks. You also do not know if other drivers are under the influence of substances, texting, or drowsy driving. The best way to decrease the risk of a car accident is to stay inside until the ice melts or after the city applies salt to the roads.
Other Best Practices to Prevent an Icy Road Accident
Icy road safe driving goes beyond defensive driving. If you have to be out on the road, these best practices can help you stay prepared for an accident.
Keep Tires Inflated
Inflating your tires is one of the best ways to improve tire traction. When your tires lack air, it will become more difficult to control your car. Always check your tire’s air pressure before driving on icy roads, and keep a tire air pump on you.
Should you buy winter tires? Winter tires have better traction, and you will have more control of your tires on icy roads. But winter tires are not much safer than traditional tires. Keeping your tires inflated is still the best defense against icy roads.
Pack Emergency Supplies
While it is not easy to think about, you should always stay prepared for the worst situations. There is still a chance you will get in an accident, or your car will get stuck. If that were to happen, an emergency kit might save your life.
Here’s what you should include in your emergency kit:
- Extra clothes
- Blankets and sleeping bags
- Food that is not easily perishable (i.e. peanuts)
- Bottled water
- Flashlight and batteries
- Snow shovel and scraper
- Booster cables
- Windshield fluid and antifreeze
- Cat litter or sand for extra traction
What to Do If You are in an Accident?
Even if you are a defensive driver, an icy road accident can still occur. It is best to stay prepared for a car accident.
Stay in Your Vehicle
When the weather is freezing, it is best to stay in your vehicle after an accident. If you can, you may exit the car briefly to check on the other driver. But if your car is not severely damaged, you should stay in your vehicle or seek shelter elsewhere. Whether or not you are in the car, keep your hazard lights on to inform other drivers of your vehicle.
Staying inside will prevent you from getting a serious condition, such as hypothermia. You may also risk tripping on ice, injuring yourself further. It may take some time before help arrives, so stay warm and remain out of the elements.
Call the Police
While you are inside, you will want to call the police. In Connecticut, you must report your accident to the police–even if injuries and property damage are minimal. Calling the police will expedite the reporting process.
After calling the police, you should also order a tow truck–especially if you participate in a roadside assistance program. The police can also call a tow truck for you, though you may have to pay a larger fee for emergency service.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
Once you are in a safe location and receive medical attention, you should contact a car accident attorney immediately. Connecticut has a two-year statute of limitations on car accident lawsuits, so you do not want to waste any time filing your claim.
The best car accident lawyers will gather important evidence, such as your police report, medical bills, and witness statements. From here, they will negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. If the insurance company does not negotiate, your attorney will represent you in court.
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys
Getting in a car accident is devastating, especially if you were the victim of an icy road car accident.
Our law firm is experienced in handling car accident cases, ensuring the at-fault driver is held liable. We are experts in Connecticut car accident laws and can walk you through the entire claims process. We can also negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you get the settlement you deserve.
We have offices all over the state, from New Haven to Hartford. Contact us for a free consultation.