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Driving safely this winter

Winter in New York means icy roads and surfaces. However, winter does not typically mean fewer drivers on the road. Many of us must continue going to work, running errands or taking care of other responsibilities, even on snowy days.

Snow and ice on the roads mean an increased risk of a car accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2020 there were 374 deadly accidents and approximately 25,000 injuries in accidents caused by wintry or icy conditions.

While you can never control the behavior of other drivers, there are many things you can do to stay safe on the roads in the winter.

Slow down

The number one thing to remember is to drive slowly. You should drive slower than usual whenever there is any form of precipitation on the roads, but especially during snowy weather.

Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and other vehicles on the road. Braking too suddenly can cause your car to slide off the road or rear end another vehicle.

If another vehicle is following too closely behind you, move into another lane or move off the road entirely and let them pass.

Check your vehicle before driving

Perform a checkup on your vehicle before winter arrives to make sure everything is working properly. Pay particular attention to tires, lights and windshield wipers.

Following these rules can decrease your risk of an accident. If you are in an accident and must file a claim with your insurance company, your safe driving could reduce the chance of them denying your claim.

Your options after a car accident

Injuries from a crash involving winter weather are often serious. You may be out of work for weeks or months and be stuck with high medical bills. Your vehicle might be damaged or even totaled because of the accident.

To make matters worse, your insurance company could deny your claim for various reasons. You may decide to pursue a personal injury action against the other driver to recover compensation.

This involves proving the other driver was negligent. It is best to have professional help if you decide to file a claim, to help maximize your chance of a successful recovery.

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