We hate to say this, but our “busy season” is winter. For some people, the first snowfall of the season means hiding in a cave and hibernating; for others it means a mad dash to grab the ski equipment. Regardless of your feelings towards the cold white stuff, however, the winter season brings with it many more motor vehicle accidents.
At risk of making our busy season slightly boring, we provide you with the following tips in case of inclement weather:
- The general idea is to be chivalrous. While you are driving remember to be sensitive and gentle. In return, Mother Nature will (hopefully) let your ride safely.
- On icy roads, decrease your speed, and always leave plenty of room in front of you. Three times more than usual is the rule of thumb. We like rules of thumb. To avoid skidding, brake gently. If your brakes start locking up, ease off the brakes gently.
- If you skid on your front wheels, take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, and don’t try to steer immediately. Traction will return as the wheels skid sideways. As that happens, steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission in “drive” or release the clutch, and accelerate gently.
- If you skid on your rear wheels, steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they’re sliding right, steer right. If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control. If you have standard brakes, pump them gently. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes. If you feel your brakes pulse, do not worry- that is normal.
- Use low gears to help you with traction.
- Do not pass snow plows and salting trucks. What is in front of them is probably worse for you.
Let us hope for safe travels in the next few months. If you do, however, find yourself in an accident, call the law firm of Bergel, Magence LLP at 416-665-2000. We might not be able to change the weather, but we can get you the compensation you deserve.