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Winter Safety Tips for Indiana Drivers

Car tires on winter road covered with snow. Vehicle on snowy way in the morning at snowfall

A Fort Wayne Car Accident Lawyer Reveals What To Know

You could be the safest driver in Indiana, but you have zero control over the behavior of other motorists who fail to adjust their driving in bad weather.

In Indiana, winter driving can be dangerous. Sometimes reckless motorists cause preventable car accidents in bad weather conditions that result in severe injury or death.

Driving in Bad Weather

With the cold weather upon us, the National Highway and Safety Administration is offering some advice on driving in undesirable winter conditions. The chief factor in most winter weather accidents is speed, which is why drivers should remember to slow down. Always adjust your driving to match the weather conditions, not the speed limit.

Other tips to follow when driving in bad weather include:

  • Do not text and drive. All distractions should be avoided, especially those that involve cell phones.
  • Drive sober. If you're celebrating the holidays or a night out, arrange for a safe trip home. Driving under the influence of alcohol puts you and others at risk of getting injured or killed in a crash.
  • Wear a seat belt at all times.
  • Don’t tailgate other drivers. Increase the following distance behind the vehicles in front of you. This gives you more time to slow down or stop when roads are slick.
  • Give road maintenance vehicles room. Because of their size, they make wide turns, stop often, overlap lanes, exit the road regularly, and kick up debris.

Before You Get Behind the Wheel

Part of driving safely in the winter means ensuring you and your vehicle are ready for the conditions. Before you hit the road, you should:

  • Check your vehicle’s tires for air pressure, damage, and wear. Strongly consider purchasing snow tires.
  • If you are driving with a small child, be sure their thick winter clothing does not interfere with their car seat safety harness.
  • Before the snow flies, have a mechanic check your vehicle’s battery, charging system, belts, and defroster and cooling systems.
  • Know how advanced safety technologies, such as antilock braking systems, work under wintry conditions.
  • Check all of your vehicle lights – from headlights and brake lights to turn signals and emergency flashers.
  • Make sure your vehicle’s windshield wipers are not damaged and are working properly – cleaning snow without leaving behind streaks – and the washer fluid reservoir should be full.
  • Keep the gas tank as full as possible.
  • Plan and know your route. Check beforehand on current weather conditions, forecasts, road conditions, and traffic reports.

Other steps you can take include keeping your car stocked for winter with a snow shovel, broom and ice scraper; coarse material in case you get stuck in the snow (cat litter works great); jumper cables, flashlights, flares and emergency markers; blankets; a cell phone charger; water, food, medication, and a first-aid kit.

Crash Victims Have Legal Rights

Drivers who injure others in accidents when weather conditions aren’t ideal often try to pin the blame on Mother Nature. While the driver who caused your crash may not have hit you on purpose, there’s no excuse to drive recklessly in bad weather conditions.

At Boughter Sinak, LLC, our attorneys know how to hold negligent drivers accountable and help crash victims recover the compensation they’re entitled to.

If you were injured or a loved one died in a crash caused by someone else, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced Indiana car accident lawyer. We fight for crash victims in Fort Wayne, South Bend, and throughout the state.

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