Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow…How To Drive In The Snow To Avoid An Accident

How To Drive In The Snow

Columbus, Ohio

We were supposed to get some snow recently. Of course, it turned out to be only a mix of rain and snow and it did not stick. Still, this weather proves a danger to drivers on the road. While my job is to counsel people who have been injured in auto accidents, wouldn’t it be great if you could avoid an accident in the first place?

Snow-covered cars are common during Columbus, Ohio winters.

Since winter is coming, here are some tips for driving in the snow and ice in Ohio.

  1. Drive Slow – This may seem like common sense, and it is. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), you should drive 1/3 to 1/2 of your normal speed with rain and winter conditions. So, if the speed limit is 65 miles per hour, and you normally drive 65 mph, consider driving about 30 – 50 miles per hour. Know your car and your brakes. These figures will vary from driver to driver and from vehicle to vehicle. The bigger the vehicle that you drive, the slower you should travel. You should drive particularly slow on curves and on entrance and exit ramps. Pay attention to when your traction control engages. This may be a sign that you are trying to accelerate too quickly or you are going too fast. If you only follow one tip, this is the most important factor to avoid an accident in the snow. Most winter accidents are caused by someone accelerating too quickly, taking a curve too quickly, not keeping enough distance, or driving too fast.
  2. Don’t Underestimate a Light Snow – According to several sources, light snow can be more dangerous because of the propensity for the snow to melt and refreeze as ice.
  3. When You Start to Slide, Don’t Panic! – It is going to happen to you at some point if you drive in winter conditions. You will start to lose control of your vehicle when you hit a particularly slippery patch of ice. Don’t panic! And don’t slam on the brakes!. How you react to a skid depends on whether it is a front-wheel skid or a rear-wheel skid. For a front-wheel skid, take your foot off the gas slowly. Your front tires should get traction back. Then you should look to where you want to go as you get traction back. For a rear-wheel skid, quickly steer in the direction of the skid. Take your foot off the gas slowly and do not brake. As you get traction back, aim where you want to go.
  4. Don’t Tailgate! – It is more important than ever to avoid tailgating and to keep more distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Avoid passing vehicles when possible, but if you must pass another vehicle, please be extra cautious and do so slowly. You might skid. If you do, then use the tips above. Make sure to wipe off all that powdery stuff. Even on top! Yeah, you guy! I’m talking to you.
  5. Wipe Off Your Car You Jerk! – Even if you are in a hurry, it can wait. Make sure that you properly remove any snow that has stuck to your vehicle as it is the law and it poses a danger to other drivers. No one wants to be behind a car that is shedding snow on the highway.
  6. Be Prepared – It is especially important in the winter months to be prepared. You should get your vehicle maintained for the winter season and check your tire pressure regularly. You should also stock your vehicle with emergency gear such as a flashlight, emergency blanket, and road flares. These could come in handle should you vehicle break down in the winter months.

Author Bio

Geoff Jones is the CEO and Managing Partner of The Jones Firm, a personal injury law firm in Columbus, Ohio. With years of experience in personal injury law, he has zealously represented clients in a wide range of legal matters, including car accidents, medical malpractice, slip and falls, wrongful death, and other cases.

Geoff received his Juris Doctor from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and is a member of the Columbus Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being selected to Super Lawyers Rising Stars for 2022-2023.

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