Tips for Driving Safely Over the Holidays
As the holiday season approaches and roadways teem with busy motorists, it’s never been more important to stay vigilant while driving to avoid having to take a quick trip to the hospital, or worse. Following these key tips for winter driving in Arizona is vital to your financial and physical well-being, so take a moment to familiarize yourself with how to stay safe.
Staying Safe in Snow, Ice, and Fog
Depending on where you live in Arizona, you’ll know to expect different types of inclement weather over the winter months. For example, Flagstaff residents can expect heavy snow, whereas those in Phoenix are more likely to see sleet and ice. As you drive, be sure to keep these safety tips in mind to avoid getting into an Arizona auto accident:
- Pay attention to the road. As conditions get worse, your vehicle will require more time to come to a stop or change direction. Paying additional attention and planning ahead is vital to give yourself as much time as possible to react.
- Practice smooth, gradual driving. As a general rule of thumb, if you ever lose control on ice, snow, or water, you shouldn’t slam the brakes or jerk the steering wheel. Get used to braking, accelerating, and steering as gradually as possible.
- Slow down. Speed limits are only applicable in fair weather. As road conditions grow worse, you should start driving considerably below the speed limit as needed. The faster you drive, the higher your likelihood of losing control, and the more time you’ll need to slow down if something happens.
- Get enough rest. Drowsy driving is always a problem, but as work quotas, holiday shopping, and family visits pile up, it can become more tempting to drive despite your fatigue. If you’re getting exhausted, pull over and take an hour-long nap before continuing.
- Use snow tires. Normal tires simply don’t have enough tread to maintain traction on slippery roads, and all-season tires similarly often won’t suffice. Get snow tires, and be sure to do it before it starts snowing to avoid being caught unprepared.
- Consider not driving. If the weather is especially bad, you’re caught without proper windshields or snow tires, and/ or if you’re just not confident in your ability to drive safely on icy roads, don’t get in the car in the first place. If you do get into a weather-related auto accident, you’ll be considered negligent for driving.
What if You Get Into an Accident in Arizona?
Drivers are almost always liable for accidents caused by bad weather in Arizona, as nearly all such crashes can be avoided with foresight, preparation, cautious driving, and/ or the decision to stay off the road altogether in a non-emergency situation. In rare cases, weather-related accidents may be deemed “acts of God” in which neither party will be liable, but you shouldn’t count on this.
Instead, it’s in your best interest to talk to one of ELG’s Arizona auto accident attorneys if you get into an accident. A legal professional can help guide you through the claims process and clarify your legal and fiscal responsibilities, so be sure to give us a call at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation. Insurance companies often jump to blame drivers whenever bad weather is involved in a crash, but with the right representation, you can shift much of this liability away from yourself and secure maximum compensation in the process.