Winter driving is a way of life in Montana. The residents of this great state are accustomed to driving their vehicles in less than ideal conditions. However, not all drivers are veterans of Montana’s roads and Mother Nature has a penchant for challenging even the most experienced drivers. Prepare for any circumstance when driving; below are some of the top tips for staying safe while driving in less than ideal conditions this winter.

These conditions often result in car accidents and sometimes they are the result of negligence or the willful act of other drivers. In that instance, you may be entitled to compensation.

Winter Driving Safety Tips

Slow Down

When you encounter winter conditions, slow down. Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions. When you add ice and snow to the situation, you need to cut your speed drastically. Visibility will decrease, traction with the road plummets, and the risks you face from other drivers multiplies.

Avoid Ice

If you know a road has ice on it and can avoid it, do so. Don’t go on a bridge that ices if you have another route. If you must use the road but can see the ice only covers part of the road, safely try not to drive on it.

Buckle Up

In winter weather, remembering to buckle is even more important, as you are more likely to slide off the road or get in an accident in such conditions. Even a slow-moving accident can be fatal if you aren’t wearing your seatbelt.

Check the Weather

Always check the weather before you drive somewhere, especially if you go somewhere where winter conditions are expected. By staying informed, you can prepare for the conditions you might encounter. In winter, this means having a snow emergency kit with blankets, food, water, and extra lights.

Be Nice To Your Brakes

Your first instinct in a slide is to slow down. This is the right thing to do, but how you do it matters more on ice. Anti-lock brakes do not work well on ice and the last thing you want is your tires locking up as you slide. Slow down by taking your foot off the accelerator first and carefully press down on the brake pedal.

Steer into A Slide

If your car loses traction, it’s generally means you are going too fast. Driving slower can help prevent this, but, when it happens, don’t panic. Turn your steering wheel toward where you are sliding and carefully slow down as described above. However, be mindful of how far you turn into a slide so you don’t risk overcorrecting and sliding the other way. Move in small increments until you recover.

Avoid Dangerous Places

Physics apply everywhere; it’s annoying but true. So, use physics to your advantage in wintery conditions. Don’t attempt to go up or down a steep incline and tempt gravity’s unforgiving pull. If you must drive on an incline, get momentum before starting the climb and try not to push the gas pedal while on the slope.

If you do get into a car accident, remember that these incidents always happen in multiples when snow and ice is involved. Be very careful of your surroundings as other cars may lose control in the same place or swerve while trying avoid your car.

If you or a loved one was hurt in a car accident this winter, call Raigan and Cook P.C. to have your case reviewed. You may be entitled to compensation.