As a Minneapolis DWI attorney, I’m used to dealing with drivers who’ve been in accidents because they were drinking or had taken prescription medicines with side effects. However, in winter, anyone can get into an accident, even if they’re being careful. The AAA has several good tips for being extra careful on snowy or icy roads.
1. Slow down. This is the most important rule of winter driving. It takes longer to brake on snowy or icy roads than it does to brake on dry pavement. Give yourself more time and more space.
2. Don’t tailgate. Double or triple your usual space between you and the car ahead of you. If something happens to the car ahead of you, or the car ahead of them, you won’t be able to avoid being part of their accident if you’re driving too close.
3. Visibility. Clean off your front and rear windows completely. Don’t just clear a peep hole and leave the rest of the window covered in snow. Clean off your headlights. Use your headlights. Make sure your wipers are working properly; replace them if necessary.
4. Tires. Your tires should have at least a 6/32-inch (4.8-millimeter) deep tread. Snow tires are an excellent investment. Winter is the worst possible time to drive with bald tires.
5. Turn into a slide. If you’re unlucky enough to hit a patch of black ice, turn into the slide. Slow down, remove your foot from the accelerator, and turn into the direction of the slide.
I hope you never have an accident on the road. You want to avoid both the courthouse and the hospital. But if you do, contact me.