As winter approaches, it’s time to relearn winter driver safety tips

As winter approaches Connecticut and the rest of the northern part of the nation, the weather turns significantly colder and darkness falls earlier in the day. As a result, the road conditions can quickly deteriorate, significantly increasing the risk of car accidents and serious injuries.

The early part of the winter driving season is likely the most dangerous time of the year to be driving. One reason for this: inexperience with winter driving conditions. As it has been several months since the previous winter, people are simply not used to driving on the snowy and slippery roads. In addition, this time of the year is the holiday season, which typically increases the number of drunk driving accidents.

How to stay safe this winter

Because this is the most dangerous time of year for driving, it is important for Connecticut residents to take some time to familiarize themselves with some basic winter driving safety tips. During the winter, safety experts recommend the following precautions:

  • Leave earlier, so you can drive slower than you normally would. Slower speeds give drivers more reaction times that can often mean the difference between stopping safely and a collision during winter driving conditions.
  • Take care not to accelerate when going around corners or curves. This can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • If your vehicle starts to skid, do not slam on the brakes, as this will make the skid worse. Instead, slowly and firmly apply your brakes until you regain control.
  • Make certain that your vehicle is ready for winter by checking the windshield wipers for wear, refilling the windshield wiper fluid, and ensuring that the tires have sufficient tread.
  • Take extra care when driving on bridges, overpasses or areas covered by shade, as these areas are ripe for black ice.
  • Avoid taking unnecessary trips during hazardous weather conditions.

Consult a personal injury attorney

Taking the proper safety precautions can help minimize the risk of car accidents, but cannot eliminate it. Although accidents can happen to the most careful of us, many drivers, confident in their four-wheel-drive vehicles, unfortunately do not take the time to exercise the caution that they should.

Fortunately, under Connecticut law, drivers who are injured by careless or negligent drivers have legal recourse. Under the law, injured drivers can hold such drivers liable for expenses stemming from the accident such as loss of wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a driver's carelessness, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can advise you on your claim and work to ensure that the responsible party is held accountable for his or her actions.