When Is It Too Dangerous To Drive in Winter Weather?

Unless you’re part of the United States Postal Service, you’re probably not held to the “in the rain, sleet, snow, or ice,” expectation. In fact, rain and snow are among the most dangerous driving conditions. Winter weather leads to massive accidents every year in Richmond and various other cities throughout Virginia. It’s important that you know when it’s better to stay home than to head out into bad weather. Of course, each driver must make their own determination when the time comes. The circumstances, driving experience, and weather patterns will all play a role in deciding whether or not you need to drive in winter weather. However, if you do get injured in a car accident, an experienced Richmond car accident attorney can help.

Inexperienced Drivers

It’s the old catch-22 that inexperienced drivers can’t gain experience driving in adverse weather conditions without actually driving in bad weather. That said, it’s possible that your young drivers can explore driving in poor weather after the worst of the storm has passed.

If you have a teen driver, it’s best to not let them out during a storm or when a storm is heading in. However, you can allow them to drive the day after when roads aren’t yet clear or when it’s possible that there is sleet or ice down. Always be with them while they’re driving and show them how to put on chains when there is heavy snow properly.

Seasoned Winter Drivers

Seasoned winter drivers come with a different risk. Too much experience can produce the problem of over-confidence. Too much confidence is what often puts people in the position of losing control. They typically travel at higher speeds or drive in winter weather as if they’re operating the vehicle in good weather.

Seasoned winter drivers should always consider the factors around them when driving. That means slowing down, putting on the correct beams, and proceeding with enough caution to minimize the damage of an impact. Drivers should always leave enough room for them to come to a complete spot even if they were to hit ice or black ice.

A well-experienced driver should also know not to overcorrect. Ice will typically look matte and give off a white hue. Whereas black ice will simply look like a wet road. Know the temperature to determine if it’s reasonable that the road would be wet rather than frozen. Black ice usually forms through the early morning hours or at night.

Specific Dangers

Aside from ice, black ice, and snow, there are other dangers that come with winter driving. Sleet can lead to losing control, and it’s common all over roads after people driver through ice and snow. After a heavy snowfall, people will drive over the roads, and the result is a part-ice, part-water combination.

It can also be difficult to drive in fog. Sometimes even the most experienced drivers can’t navigate successfully. The issue with fog is following closely, or too closely, without knowing. When driving in fog, always turn off your high beams. Your high beams will make seeing more difficult for you and the drivers around you.

High beams light up the fog causing the light to bounce back towards drivers rather than to disperse ahead into the dark road. Tap your breaks to warn drivers behind you. Finally, stay in the right lane whenever possible.

Wait it Out or Speed on Home?

The question is, do you wait or try to get home before it gets worse. There are certainly times when it’s reasonable to focus on getting home instead of pulling over. However, if you believe the worst of the storm is happening at the moment, it may be best to stop and wait it out.

However, you shouldn’t stop on the side of the road. Only stop at safe places. Many people find that if the storm will pass quickly, it’s a good opportunity for a quick meal. Definitely try to pull over somewhere safe if you believe that you can’t make it home in the current weather.

If you’re determined to make it home, then get into the right lane, don’t speed, and drive in winter weather as carefully as possible.

Contact a Richmond, VA Auto Accident Attorney

CAIL law offices help people recover from accidents from any variety of circumstances. As we head into the winter months, we know that many accidents don’t have one clear responsible party. If you did everything in your power to actively avoid a crash or to control your vehicle, then we can help you seek out the compensation you need.

Contact an experienced Richmond auto accident attorney at CAIL now for guidance on how to put together a strong case and fight for the monetary relief that you need.