Tips For Safe Driving in Poor Weather Conditions

Massachusetts experiences a wide variety of weather annually. This fact can mean scary driving conditions that require extra care and caution when determining when and where you are driving. Our Boston car accident attorney at The Cashman Law Firm understands how a car accident in poor weather can derail your life, and we want to provide you with information to increase your safety on the roads.

Driving in Massachusetts Rain

Driving in the rain presents similar challenges. Primarily, they can reduce visibility and traction, which is why regular tire maintenance is so important. When tire tread decreases, their ability to displace water and grab the road also decreases, making you more likely to hydroplane. According to Consumer Reports, tread functionality may be significantly affected even before you think the tread is low.

Poor visibility is another risk of driving in heavy rain because you may be unable to see more than a couple of inches in front of your car. Pulling over in a safe location to wait out the rain is ideal, but if you feel it is safe enough to continue driving, you should allow more space between yourself and the car in front of you than you typically would. This precaution will allow you more time to respond if you are not able to see clearly, and it will give your tires more time to stop should you need to.

Heavy rain may mean flooded areas. These can be especially dangerous because, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it only takes 12 inches of rushing water to to carry away most cars. The biggest danger of this is that it can be easy to miscalculate the depth and end up in a dangerous situation.

Driving in Snow

Massachusetts winters can be harsh, resulting in negative temperatures and lots of snow. These low temperatures can decrease the air pressure in your tires. Some winter weather driving tips from the NHTSA include ensuring that your tires are inflated according to the car manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure they are filled to perform for your specific car.

Much like rain, snow can affect traction. While the Massachusetts Government website states that they have a variety of tools in their winter road safety arsenal, sometimes roads may turn icy. Icy road conditions can become incredibly dangerous, and if you are unable to avoid driving, you should ensure that you are driving slowly, allowing ample space between yourself and other cars and focusing completely on what you are doing.

Some additional tips from the NHTSA include ensuring that your car’s floormats stay clear of snow buildup or debris. This may interfere with your ability to access the gas or brake pedal, causing an accident. Instead of a cloth or carpeted mat, they suggest using a rubber mat that can be easily cleared and cleaned.

Driving Safely in Poor Weather

Poor weather conditions can be common for those of us who drive regularly. In Massachusetts, we experience the whole spectrum of temperatures and intense winter weather. Ideally, we are able to avoid driving in some of these poor conditions, but if you have to be on the roads, make sure you are taking precautions to be as safe as you can in a given situation.