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The hazards of driving in snow and ice
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The hazards of driving in snow and ice

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2021 | Driver Safety

South Dakota drivers know that the risk of accidents is higher during the winter months than it is in other times of the year. Just the thought of operating a motor vehicle when ice is on the road and visibility is low is enough to induce anxiety in some motorists. The good news is that actionable steps are available to help avoid some of the most common wintertime driving accidents.

Spin-outs

One of the most common causes of car accidents in the winter months is a vehicle that spins out of the driver’s control. It is a good idea to avoid driving as much as possible when snow and ice are on the ground. Drivers who experience a spin-out should steer in the direction that the car is spinning. Attempting to fight against the direction the vehicle is moving will only make the problem worse. Drivers should also execute a slow reduction in speed instead of slamming suddenly on the brakes.

Rear-end accidents

It becomes a challenge for drivers to gauge the distance between the front end of their car and the rear end of the vehicle in front of them when visibility is low. It also takes longer to bring the car to a complete stop when the roads are slick with ice. These factors combine to add to the likelihood of wintertime rear-end accidents. Maintaining a distance of two to three car lengths behind the next car is one way to mitigate this risk. It also helps to drive below the allowable speed limit.

Lane drifting

Many drivers have had the unpleasant experience of driving a car when so much snow is on the road that the lanes are no longer visible. A vehicle traveling in the wrong lane represents a safety threat to everyone on the road. Drivers must remain alert and use their reasoning skills to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles in these conditions. Drivers can also follow tracks left behind by other motorists. These tracks will help drivers to stay in their lane and follow the flow of traffic.

The threat of accidents increases when motorists take to the road in the winter months. People who have been injured as a result of another driver not taking heed of the weather and road conditions might find it advisable to have legal assistance when seeking compensation for their losses.