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Preparedness Can Help Deter a California Winter Driving Crash

In San Diego, “winter” driving doesn’t have the same meaning as in other parts of the country. Inside the city limits, the temperatures stay relatively mild, and we don’t have to contend with icy or snowy roads.

However, drivers don't have to go too far into the mountains to encounter hazardous cold weather driving. In addition, wet roads here in San Diego during the El Nino season can be just as dangerous. As San Diego car accident lawyers, we have seen firsthand what can happen when drivers fail to adjust to changing road conditions.

To help drivers stay safe this winter, the California Office of Traffic Safety recently offered several important tips:

  • Make sure your brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, anti-freeze, heater and lights are all in good working order. Tires, including the spare, should also be properly inflated with the treads in good condition.
  • Check the weather and current road conditions before hitting the road.
  • Carry an emergency kit, particularly on long road trips.
  • Buckle your seat belt on every trip and require all passengers to do the same. Wearing a seat belt is the best defense to prevent injury and death in a crash.
  • Remain alert and focused on the road. That means minimizing distractions, such as turning off your cell phone or storing it out of reach.
  • During heavy rain, keep your vehicle in the middle lane, since water tends to pool in outside lanes.
  • Turn on your headlights in rainy, foggy or overcast conditions. Use low beams in fog or snow.
  • Avoid driving through running water that could be deeper than the bottom of your vehicle.
  • Do not use cruise control during wet or snowy road conditions because it could cause skidding and loss of tire traction in winter conditions.
  • In rain or snow, decrease your speed and increase the following distance between you and the vehicle in front. Stopping distances can double in rain, triple in snow.

If you or someone you love has been seriously harmed in a San Diego motor vehicle crash involving a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation, including reimbursement of medical expenses and lost wages. We encourage you to contact a San Diego injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.