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Stay Safe While Driving in Cleveland This Winter

Cleveland auto accident attorneysCleveland drivers know that snow, ice, sleet and other dangerous weather conditions can make Ohio roads dangerous well after the holiday season. Stay safe through the rest of winter by following our tips for driving on icy roads. Knowing how to identify road hazards can empower drivers to reduce their chances of being injured in a car accident. Drivers can also reduce the risk of injuries by knowing how to respond in an emergency situation. 

Note that the simple occurrence of a crash or an injury won’t necessarily entitle you to compensation. There are specific legal elements that must be proven in order to receive an insurance payout. Injury victims can pursue legal actions against negligent drivers with the help of an experienced Cleveland auto accident attorney with a proven track record of success.

How Drivers Can Prepare for Cold Weather Driving

WHDH 7 News Boston spoke with AAA representatives to get their advice for driving safely in winter weather conditions. Drivers should prepare for winter driving before they ever get behind the wheel. Vehicles should be stocked with salt, a snow shovel and battery cables. Tires should not be allowed to get low, as this can decrease a driver’s control over the vehicle. Inspect and inflate all tires regularly. When it is time to hit the road, begin by warming up the vehicle in an open, ventilated location.

Plan to refill the fuel tank at regular intervals during your trip. When snow and ice leave drivers stranded, it is important to be able to run the heat until help arrives. Keeping a full tank is also important to prevent the fuel line from freezing. AAA recommends keeping the tank at least half full whenever the temperature drops below freezing.

When on the road, it is important to stay alert and appropriately respond to existing weather conditions. Never use cruise control on wet or unstable surfaces such as rain, ice, or sand. Monitor your speed appropriately to maintain control of the vehicle. This is not just a wise safety precaution, it is also a legal requirement for all drivers on the roads of Ohio.

Ohio Law Requires Driving at a Safe Speed

Section 4511.21 of the Ohio Revised Code prohibits operating a vehicle at a speed that is greater than reasonable or proper. Drivers who violate this section are subject to traffic citations, fines, and administrative penalties (such as points against a driver’s license). They can also be found negligent as a result of their speed. A finding of negligence can make a driver legally responsible for causing an accident, and thus obligated to compensate victims for their injuries and financial losses.

When going up snow-covered hills, applying the gas will just get wheels spinning rather than moving the vehicle forward. Instead, drivers should apply the gas and gain momentum before starting to ascend. The momentum will then propel the vehicle up the hill. Try not to stop the vehicle once it has started to climb, as this will break the momentum that was gained and make it difficult (f not impossible) to get the vehicle moving again.

In dangerously cold weather conditions, the safest road policy is to avoid travel altogether. Put off any unnecessary trips when snow, ice or other weather conditions make the roads unsafe. Even if you know how to safely drive in these conditions, other drivers may not. Consult with a Cleveland car accident attorney after any car accident in order to determine the best method of protecting your legal right to be compensated for your injuries and financial losses.

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