Skip to content

Winter safety tips for Connecticut motorists

On behalf of Robert Berchem

With treacherous driving conditions prevalent during winter, it is important for Connecticut motorists to take steps to stay safe.

During this time of year, Connecticut motorists routinely face some of the most treacherous times to be on the road. The accumulation of snow and ice on the roads during the winter months can make running errands or the daily commute a white-knuckle affair.

In some cases, the wintry conditions can be deadly. A recent ice storm caused the death of a 88-year-old woman in New Haven. According to the police, icy conditions caused the woman to lose control of her car and strike a utility pole. In addition to this accident, the same storm is suspected to be the cause of several car accidents in Connecticut along the I-95 corridor.

Staying safe this winter

Although driving during this time of year is hazardous, it need not result in an accident, provided that proper precautions are taken. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it is of paramount importance to ensure that your vehicle is in good working order before getting on the roads. Check your vehicle (or have a mechanic do it) for leaks, worn hoses, broken belts, worn brakes or tires, and other issues.

Additionally, the NHTSA recommends motorists to ensure that they have sufficient windshield wiper fluid in their vehicles at all times. Snow and wet roads can cause you to use a lot of this fluid. If you suddenly run out, your visibility will be drastically impaired. To guard against this possibility, experts recommend that you keep an extra supply of no-freeze fluid in your trunk at all times. Check fluid levels every time that you stop for gas during periods of heavy wiper use. Since fluid alone cannot guarantee clear visibility, it is also important to regularly check your windshield wipers, replacing worn blades as needed.

When driving in wintry conditions, driving slower than you normally would is one of the best precautions you can take. Doing so can avoid skids and ensure that you are able to stop in time. Give the car ahead of you up to three times the amount of distance that you normally would, in case a sudden stop is necessary. Because of the slower speeds during slippery driving conditions, it is important to plan accordingly to ensure that you arrive at your destination on time (and guard against the temptation to drive at an unsafe speed).

Motorists that are unaccustomed to driving in winter weather should first get comfortable with how their vehicle handles in the icy conditions. To do so, it is recommended to practice on side roads and empty parking lots before heading out to heavily traveled roads.

Unfortunately, even if you take every precaution, nothing can completely prevent the possibility of a winter weather accident. This is especially the case if the other driver was driving negligently. If you find yourself injured this winter because of another driver’s carelessness, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Berchem Moses PC. Our attorneys can listen to your situation and advise you further about your ability to recover compensation from the responsible driver.