Cold Weather Should Change the Way You Drive

The week before last, Spokane had some unusually cold temperatures—with highs hovering between 10 and 28. Combined with wet weather, the below-freezing conditions led to icy roads, which are a hazard for both pedestrians and commuters. Sadly (but predictably), there were quite a few car accidents in Spokane in the last few weeks. As a personal injury law firm in Spokane, we hear about car accidents from callers on a fairly frequent basis.

Since it is winter, and we’re dealing with above-average amounts of car accidents this winter, it’s important that people alter their driving habits to accommodate freezing rain and icy conditions. Yes, the city is doing its best to plow and de-ice the roads—but ultimately, you alone are responsible for how your car is driven. Personally, we would rather that our community stays safe and in one piece than turn into clients after a car accident.

Some Driving Tips to Remember

If you’re going to be doing a lot of driving this winter, regardless of the conditions, the key rule is to give yourself more time, more space, and less acceleration. Winter is the wrong season for rushing from place to place—even if your job or your grades are at stake. Jobs and grades can be restored—mobility and health sometimes can’t be.

Here are some basic tips for driving in icy conditions:

  • If you begin sliding, turn into the slide (i.e. don’t fight where your back wheels are sliding)
  • Give yourself an extra 10 seconds of braking when stopping or slowing down
  • Give yourself an extra 20 minutes to get anywhere—speeding can be deadlier in winter
  • Do not try to power up hills—if you’re going slow, then go slow
  • Remember that employers and professors will understand a longer-than-usual commute

Now would also be a good time to keep track of the forecast. If your neighborhood experienced some below-freezing temperatures the night before, you know you’ll need to be careful. The ice that forms overnight is often very thin—meaning it’s invisible from a distance. Don’t trust your eyes, trust the temperatures.

The Sweetser Law Office wishes you a safe and uneventful winter. Follow these rules and stay safe out there!


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