Autumn’s colors have faded, nighttime temperatures are near freezing and Ohio residents are preparing for winter. Modifying driving habits for icy, snow-covered roads is essential to staying safe during the cold, wet months ahead..

Useful winter driving tips

Staying home during bad weather is not an option for most working adults. As a result, the commute to work, taking children to school and picking up groceries may require driving during rain or snowstorms. According to AAA, treacherous road conditions account for nearly 500,000 car accidents every winter. Knowing the safety rules for bad weather driving can minimize your risk and help you stay as safe as possible. Here are five to the top safe driving tips for winter:

  1. Winterize your vehicle – Make sure your tires are appropriate for wet, slick conditions, and keep them properly inflated.
  2. Slow down – Traction is lower and inconsistent in sloppy road conditions. Reducing your speed can provide you enough time to compensate for the slippery surface.
  3. Increase the following distance – Leave five to six seconds between you and the car ahead. This allows you more time to respond to unusual activity, such as cars sliding across the travel lane.
  4. Keep moving – Applying the extra power needed to continue after a full stop can result in spinning wheels, fish-tailing and slipping sideways on snow-covered roads. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until the traffic light turns green, do it. It can reduce the chances of a crash.
  5. Speed up and slow down gradually – It takes longer for tires to prevent slips and regain traction on an icy surface than on dry pavement. Slowly applying the gas or brakes gives the tires time to grip the road as needed.

Winter driving requires focused attention on the road. When a crash results because a driver did not make the proper adjustments based on road conditions, it may be negligence. If you or a loved one sustained an injury due to a negligent driver, you may have grounds for a claim. Financial compensation can help you pay for medical bills, lost wages and other accident-related expenses.