Safe Winter Driving Tips

Safe driving

Did you know that when your vehicle skids on ice you should always look and steer in the direction you want to go after taking your foot off the gas?  Our experienced car accident attorneys provide this and other safe winter driving tips below.

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Know How to Drive on Snow and Ice to Avoid Car Accidents

Some of the iciest sections of road, even in above-freezing temperatures, are bridges, overpasses, exit ramps, and less traveled roads.  Take caution in these areas.

Do not pass snow plows or sand trucks as they have limited visibility on both sides, and passing could cause an auto accident.

Do not be overly confident in a four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicle. While these vehicles are good at starting in snowy conditions, they don’t slow down any better than other vehicles.

Rear wheel drive vehicles are much more prone to skidding than front wheel drive (or four wheel and all-wheel drive) vehicles. Rear wheel drive vehicles are much lighter in the back and can fishtail in icy conditions.

When braking with anti-lock brake systems (ABS), you do not need to pump your brakes as you would without ABS.  Simply apply steady pressure to the brakes which will allow the ABS system to pump and keep the wheels from locking.

Know the Laws on Snow Removal from Your Vehicle

Rhode Island law prohibits driving with snow or ice on your vehicle’s windows that obstructs your view.  It is also unlawful to drive with “significant amounts of snow or ice” on your vehicle, meaning any accumulation that might reasonably be expected to blow off the vehicle and obstruct the view of another driver on the road. R.I.G.L. § 31-23-16.

Massachusetts does not have a law specific to removing snow and ice from your vehicle, but state troopers can cite drivers who operate an unsafe vehicle.

Know Current Road Conditions

These contact numbers will help you decide whether to drive in RI and MA during poor winter weather.

In Rhode Island:

In Massachusetts:

  • call 511 from your cell phone,
  • call the following numbers from any phone:
    • Metro Boston: (617) 986-5511
    • Central Mass: (508) 499-5511
    • Western Mass: (413) 754-5511, or

Know What to Do If Stranded In Your Vehicle

Call 911 or *77 for help.  The safest place to wait is in your vehicle. In winter conditions other cars may not see you walking on the side of the road.  You can place a bright colored cloth on the exterior of your vehicle to attract attention.  If you have enough gas, run your engine and heater for 10 minutes every hour.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident due to the fault of another driver, contact our attorneys at the Bottaro Law Firm.  They are ready to discuss your case and can help you get the compensation you deserve.