Driving in a Winter Wonderland

ELI5: Negligence

You may be enjoying walking in a winter wonderland this season. But, chances are, you aren’t enjoying driving in a winter wonderland—a feat even Utahns fear. If you’re planning on leaving your home this winter—spoiler alert: you are—you can help keep Utah’s roads a tad bit safer by following the safety tips we’ve listed below. Though there will always be dangerous, unpredictable, downright terrifying drivers, there’s no law that says you have to be one of them. Protect yourself and those around you by driving responsibly this winter season.


If some guy cuts you off, it may be your knee-jerk reaction to use some hand gestures—such as a big, fat thumbs-down—to tell him how you really feel. Though we aren’t here to judge the morality of your road rage, we do feel it’s necessary to remind you that aggressive driving can be particularly dangerous on winter roads. Snow, ice, and wet roads can make it difficult for a driver to stop when you speed around and cut them off in retaliation. If someone drifts into your lane, or follows you too closely, or cuts you off, do the safe thing and try to get as far away from their vehicle as possible. You don’t want to be too close if they lose control.


Do you have a gigantic truck with gigantic tires that can get through the worst roads even in the North Pole? If so, you’re probably feeling much more confident on winter roads than those Prius drivers in the slow lane. However, it’s important to remember that there are Prius drivers, and other drivers, who have vehicles that cannot stop at the drop of a hat. Some drivers on the road will have tires that should have been changed thousands of miles ago. Some drivers will have cars that will be particularly susceptible to getting trapped in snowbanks. Even if your car can do it all, remember that other cars might not be able to. Therefore, it’s best to maintain a conservative distance from other vehicles as you may not be able to tell when they’re going to lose control.


The distance it takes to come to a full stop dramatically increases on icy or snowy roads. Even if you’re able to stop quickly, others might not be able to. Furthermore, other drivers on the road may lose control of their vehicles and swerve into your lane at any time. When roads are in dangerous conditions, it’s best to slow down and maintain a good following distance so you can stop in time. Leave extra space between you and the car in front of you. You also will want to make sure you aren’t driving right next to another car since they may accidentally swerve into your lane when they hit a patch of snow or black ice. Sometimes conditions make it difficult to see road markings, which can also cause other drivers to veer out of their lane. Slow down while you’re driving so you can bring your car to a stop if you need to.


When you’re driving on Utah’s roads this winter, it’s important to maintain a very conservative speed. Driving 10 miles per hour on the freeway is not unusual if the roads haven’t been plowed yet. In fact, most people try to avoid the roads altogether when the snow really starts falling. If you absolutely cannot avoid going out that day, make sure to slow down when possible. Avoid speeding around cars at all costs, even if the flow of traffic is going slower than you’d like it to. If you need to go even slower than the flow of traffic, make sure to move over into the far right lane, and don’t be afraid to turn on your hazard lights if you’re going exceptionally slow. Though you may feel as though your car is equipped to go faster than the speed of traffic, it’s probably a good idea to slow down.


Make sure you have the proper tires for snowy weather. If your tires are old and worn out, you may need to replace them. Cars with tires that are worn take a much longer time to come to a complete stop. With the roads in dangerous conditions, make sure that your tires are in good condition. You may also want to make sure that you have the right tires for driving in winter weather conditions, especially if you just purchased your car.


If you were injured by a negligent driver, Moxie Law Group is here for you. Our talented and experienced legal team can help you gain the compensation you need to get back on your feet after a winter weather disaster. If you’ve got questions about your personal injury claim, contact Moxie Law Group today.

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