Although the winter is full of holiday joy and merriment, the icy roads are not. This is a dangerous time to drive to all those family reunions you’ve been invited to. Road conditions are not the best in the winter, with snow, sleet, and ice causing problems for drivers.

Over 116,000 Americans are injured on roadways, and there are 1,300 fatalities each winter according to data from the Department of Transportation. It is now more important than ever for drivers to pay attention to the roads so that they can arrive safely to their destinations.

Use the following tips to drive with precaution during the winter so you can know what to do in case you experience an emergency during the snowy season. 

Unless You Absolutely Must, Don’t Drive

Icy roads are treacherous, so unless you absolutely have to, stay at home or avoid using your car as your primary method of transportation. Monitor the snow for some time before you make your next move to assess any potential dangers. 

Keep Your Vehicle in Good Condition

Regular maintenance on your car, truck, or other vehicles you operate will prevent breakdowns or other service failures during days that it snows. Ensure that your tires are in top condition and replace them once they start to wear out. Have your battery tested and fluid levels checked on a regular basis in order to feel confident that you’re in a safe vehicle every time you hit the road. 

Be Aware of Space Between You and Vehicles in Front of You

Road conditions during the winter are unpredictable and unfortunately, many drivers become unpredictable as well. Make sure to give other drivers plenty of space before you break in order to avoid your tires sliding on ice or snow.

Minimize Distraction and Maximize Focus

It can be tempting to be blaring your music or to be making phone calls, despite the road’s unstable conditions. Don’t forget that this isn’t the summertime; winter is the worst time to play your music loudly or to be on the phone while you drive. All of your attention needs to be placed on the road. Turn the stereo down and make those phone calls once you’ve arrived at your destination for your own safety and the safety of others. While you’re on the road, carefully approach steep hills, as vehicles are prone to sliding on the ice during winter snowstorms or when drizzle is present. Use the momentum from flatter surfaces to carry you up difficult hills, and then decelerate slowly as you crest the hills to avoid fishtailing. 

Steps to Take After a Car Accident in the Snow

Do not say any statements to the other parties that could be misconstrued to make you seem at fault for the accident. The said statement can be used in a claim against you. The best you can do is gather evidence by taking photos of the accident, and exchange contact information with the other person. Have your injuries examined by a medical professional? Even if you think you’re alright, it is common for injuries to manifest days later. 

If your car accident resulted in serious injuries or the complete destruction of your vehicle, contact a lawyer who is well-versed with injury claims. Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton will help you receive the compensation you deserve.