As a resident of Colorado, you don't have to wonder if you'll come face-to-face with inclement weather this winter season. You know that it will happen, it's just a matter of when.
If you find yourself operating a motor vehicle in less than ideal weather, it's critical to consider the steps you can take to enhance your safety. Understanding the top causes of wintertime accidents can help keep you safe.
- Poor visibility: Snow, rain, ice and fog can all cause poor visibility, thus making it difficult to see the road ahead, other vehicles and hazards. If any of these things are causing you trouble, it's imperative to either slow down or get off the road altogether.
- Slick roadways: A common concern during the winter months, snow and ice can cause the roadways to become slick. This makes it difficult to maintain your traction, especially if you're driving too fast. Worse yet, you can't always see slick spots, which increases the risk of one of these sneaking up on you.
- Speeding: Even if you're in a hurry to reach your destination, driving too fast in bad weather is a mistake you never want to make. The faster you're driving, the more likely it is you'll lose control of your vehicle. Also, when roadways are slick, you'll find it more difficult to slow or stop your vehicle in the event of an emergency.
- Sudden braking: When possible, plan out when you'll use your brakes, as this helps avoid a situation in which you're unable to maintain control of your vehicle. Slamming on your brakes on wet pavement increases the chance of "spinning out," which can cause an accident.
- Powering up hills: Think twice before you attempt to power up a hill in poor conditions. Bad things can happen, such as getting stuck halfway up the hill or sliding back down. If you must tackle an icy or snowy hill, maintain a steady speed until reaching the top.
As you protect against these common causes of wintertime motor vehicle accidents, keep an eye on everything happening around you. Not all drivers will take as much caution, which puts you, and everyone else on the road, at risk of an accident and related injuries.