If you’re used to driving in Rhode Island during winter, you understand how inclement weather can cause sudden changes in road conditions. No matter what the weather happens to be if you’re traveling in this state or any other, you’re responsible for adhering to traffic laws at all times. If there is snow, slush, sleet or ice on the road, there are several safety tips to keep in mind to reduce the chance of collision.
The easiest way to avoid dangerous road conditions in winter is to stay home if the weather is bad. That’s not always possible, however, especially if it starts to snow or sleet while you’re already on the road. While you may be cautious and alert behind the wheel, there’s no guarantee that nearby drivers will be the same. Driver negligence causes many winter collisions in Rhode Island.
Remember these tips for winter driving
The following list includes numerous easy-to-implement safety tips that may help you avoid disaster when you’re traveling and winter road conditions are poor:
- Avoid braking or applying the gas pedal too hard or fast.
- Travel at slower speeds when you have less tire traction because of slush or ice.
- Try to keep several car lengths of distance between you and the vehicles in front and behind you.
- Rather than stepping on the gas while you are mid-way up a hill, pick up inertia before you start up the hill, and let off the gas as you reach the top.
- Try to avoid stopping in the middle of a hill.
- Remember that visibility is poor when there is precipitation or fog, especially at intersections.
You hopefully know how to steer into a skid and how to use ABS brakes if your vehicle has them. If another driver disregards safety tips and traffic laws, such as failing to stop at a red light or traveling at excessive speeds on icy roads, the likelihood of collision greatly increases.
What if a driver hits you?
Blunt force trauma upon impact in a collision can cause severe injuries to you or someone riding as your passenger. Police officers often cite drivers for failing to maintain lane position or other traffic violations. If you suffer a brain injury, broken bones or other severe injuries, it might take weeks, even months, to fully recover.
If driver negligence is a causal factor in a crash that results in your injury, state law allows you to seek financial recovery for your losses in a Rhode Island civil court.