When The Roads Get Icy, Here’s How To Avoid A New Haven Auto Accident

January 19, 2024
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For the past few years our winters in the New Haven area have been lacking on the winter weather front. Mild temperatures and a lack of precipitation have left our streets clear and our winter jackets stowed away in a closet. That all changed this year when the calendar switched over to the new year and the winter weather came back with a vengeance.

Over the last few weeks temperatures have dipped below freezing and we’ve had a little bit of wintry precipitation that has left the ground frozen in an ice bath. These conditions have left many trying to remember how to drive safely without getting into a New Haven auto accident due to the slippery conditions that these weather events have left behind. Driving in wintry weather conditions when you haven’t done it in a few years can be a bit hair raising and can cause you to make decisions that you otherwise wouldn’t have made if you were driving in these types of conditions every year, instead of every third year.

One of the main ways you can keep yourself free from an incident when behind the wheel is to make sure your vehicle is prepared for the drive before you even set out on your trip. You should always check to make sure your tires are properly inflated, your windshield wipers are functioning properly and your headlights are clear of debris and there is no film on them. When you are starting from a place where your equipment is in good condition you are putting yourself one step ahead of staying safe when you’re driving through the Elm City.

Once you’ve hit the road, there are some things you should keep in mind so that you do not get into a situation where the slippery conditions will make you lose control of your vehicle. If you follow these driving tips you will be less likely to get into an accident.

1.) Take your normal driving speed and cut it in half or even slower, depending on the conditions. When driving in really bad conditions that include icy roads and precipitation falling you will want to slow down to a safe speed. While you may not be traveling at the speed limit, you should be traveling at a speed that feels safe and leaves you feeling comfortable while driving. If at anytime you feel unsafe, you should slow down even further or pull yourself over to the side of the road and park someplace safe, out of the flow of traffic, until the weather passes.

2.) Do your best to keep your driving smooth. What does smooth driving look like? No sudden stops or accelerations. Take turns slowly. When pushing on the brake or the gas do so gently so your vehicle can maintain traction on the road. Sudden, erratic driving behaviors are not good when the roads are dry, but they can be deadly when the roads are icy and slippery.

3.) If your vehicle is not equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS) you will want to pump your brakes quickly when you start to feel your vehicle slip. This will allow your wheels to not lock up and help them grip the road ahead more easily. If your vehicle is equipped with an ABS you should let the vehicle do the work if you feel yourself slipping.

4.) If you do find yourself skidding and getting slightly out of control you will want to play against your normal instincts and actually turn into the skid. Do your best to remain calm in this situation and gently turn your steering wheel in the direction of the skid. In this scenario you should also avoid any sudden braking or acceleration.

Driving in winter weather conditions can be a bit tricky and if you haven’t done it in a few years you may need to brush up on the basics. If you follow the rules above you will be able to navigate wet, icy and slippery roads with ease and avoid a New Haven auto accident. One of the trickiest things about learning how to drive on wintry roads is that there really is no place to practice doing it safely so you will need to take your time and learn on the fly. This can be scary, but if you remain calm you should be able to manage driving in any condition.

Accidents do happen and sometimes people get injured as the result of the accident. Regardless of the weather conditions you may need to speak with an attorney who can review your situation and work with you to protect your long-term interests. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will speak with you about the situation you find yourself in.