Massachusetts is often hit with a blast of winter weather, with most places in and around Worcester customarily experiencing significant accumulation. Government officials commonly warn pedestrians and motorists of the slippery conditions. Slippery road conditions are a reminder that safe winter driving habits are necessary.
Winter Driving Tips
In particular, when driving in wet, slippery, or icy conditions, drivers should:
- Allow for extra time and drive carefully. Drivers should plan on giving themselves extra time to arrive at their destinations. Wet or slippery conditions means that it takes longer for a car to accelerate, decelerate, or turn.
- Clear off windows and windshields of frost and snow before traveling. Some local law enforcement agencies across the nation have reported seeing more individuals driving with partially obstructed windshields or frosted-over windows. This practice obviously decreases the driver’s ability to see and react to hazards in the roadway such as stalled or stranded cars or pedestrians.
- Make sure your car is properly maintained. This means making sure your tires are ready for driving in wet or slippery conditions and that systems on your car like the windshield wipers are functioning properly.
- Keep emergency supplies available in your car. Drivers who are venturing out into the snow should make sure they are prepared in case they become stuck. This advice is especially relevant for drivers who plan to undertake a long-distance trip in the snow. An emergency kit should contain, at the very least, a fully charged cellular telephone (and backup battery power, if possible), blankets, gloves, hats, food, water, and any necessary prescription medication.
- Do not drive if you are sleepy or intoxicated. Driving while drowsy or drunk driving already increases the amount of time it takes for a driver to react to hazards and obstacles in the roadway. When combined with the extra time it takes for a car to stop or turn in wet and slippery conditions, drivers who are drunk or drowsy are even more likely to be involved in a crash.
What If I Am Involved in a Winter Crash?
If you find yourself involved in a winter crash, make sure that any injuries are promptly treated. If possible, try to move your vehicle out of the way of other vehicles so that other cars do not hit your vehicle. If the conditions permit, take as many pictures as you can of the road conditions, the vehicles involved in the crash, and any injuries. It is a good idea to file a police report and get the name, contact information, and insurance information of the other driver or drivers. Then contact us right away to discuss your case. Even in winter car crashes, a driver who does not drive reasonably and who injures others in a crash can be made to compensate those injured victims.