How Lingering Winter Weather May Affect Your Commute

February 15, 2024
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Whether you’re on your way into the office or home from the office you may face an unexpected challenge from Mother Nature. It may feel like winter is slipping away quickly, but there is likely to be some lingering winter weather on the horizon which may affect your commute to work and cause you to get into a New Haven auto accident if you are not cautious and follow some certain safety tips.

Whether you’re expecting winter weather or not it could most certainly sneak up on you at any time so you are going to want to be prepared. A snow squall may not even make a blip on the radar that you are so diligently checking before you head out on the road, but when you’re caught in it it can cause you serious visibility issues and keep you from getting to your destination safely. There are a variety of winter weather conditions that may not be reported on the morning or evening weather forecast, but that could get in the way of your safe driving. You should be aware of these and on the lookout, especially as the “serious” winter weather conditions begin to wane.

Before you take the car out of drive you should always be doing a couple of things to make sure your ride is as smooth as possible. In the winter months and even into spring you should always make sure you have cleared off your windshield of snow and ice. You will want to make sure you clear off all windows and surfaces on the outside of your car. The number one thing you will want to do, in any weather condition, is to make sure your seat belt is buckled. If you aren’t buckled you are taking a serious risk and in the event of an accident you may get even more injured then you otherwise would if you had buckled your seat belt.

Once you have made the necessary safety adjustments to your car and you’ve buckled your seat belt you are ready to head out for your daily commute. Here are some things you should be on the lookout for so you can have the safest ride possible.

1.) Black ice. We talk about black ice a lot at the end of fall and into the start of the winter, but it continues to be a problem all the way through the end of winter and into the early spring months. Temperature fluctuations can take a seemingly dry morning or evening drive and turn it into a dangerous trip that could bring you in contact with patches of ice that are hard to see and therefore hard to navigate when the time comes. If you are experiencing black ice you should do your best to avoid it, but if you cannot you will need to proceed with caution, drive slowly and avoid hitting your brakes too hard, especially when passing over the icy spots.

2.) Snow squalls. As mentioned above, lingering snow squalls may not be reported as even being in the area of your commute, but they can come out of nowhere. Similar to afternoon thunderstorms in the spring and summer which can become quite severe at times, snow squalls can pop up out of nowhere and really affect your visibility when driving. You should make sure that when a snow squall begins you utilize your windshield wipers to clear your view and also pull over as necessary if visibility becomes too low. Often times these squalls only last for a short while and therefore you can wait comfortable in a safe location until your visibility improves.

3.) Falling or blowing snow. This winter we have had more snow then we have had in quite a few years so there will still be some snow on surfaces and overhangs while you’re commuting to and from work. As the weather warms a bit these bits of snow and ice will melt and come free and could cause a potential risk to you or other passing cars. Think about snow that may melt off the top of an overpass or from a tree branch high above the road, if this were to hit your vehicle it could be damaging and also startle you which could affect your ability to safely operate your vehicle. On a day where the weather is warming up a bit, be on the lookout for any snow or ice that is hanging low and do your best to avoid it. If you are struck by this type of snow or ice you will want to remain calm and safely pull over to clear off any residue from the falling snow.

Your commute to and from work does not have to be dangerous in any way as long as you are on the lookout for some lingering winter weather conditions over the next few weeks. If you do run into a situation where the weather may make it unsafe for you to travel, don’t hesitate to leave yourself extra time and take a different route if you think it will be safer. You should take every step you can to make sure that you are not putting yourself at risk of a New Haven auto accident and leaving yourself vulnerable to an injury.

When an accident does happen you may want the experience of an attorney who has seen situations like the one you are facing before. Take the time to reach out to our office and one of our experienced attorneys will review your situation and work with you to protect your long-term interests.