Jainchill & Beckert, LLC

How Connecticut residents can prepare for winter driving

The ice and snow of winter can pose a challenge to drivers. That's why preparation is essential. For example, there are many drivers who do not even understand certain vehicle safety features. The National Safety Council, together with the University of Iowa, is helping to educate drivers on new vehicle technologies through a campaign called, "My Car Does What?"

Most drivers have at least traction control and anti-lock braking on their vehicles. The former keeps traction when drivers accelerate and decelerate while the latter pumps the brakes in a skid. However, an entire vehicle must be in good condition to meet winter challenges. A mechanic could check components like the engine, tires, ignition, brakes, wiring and filters.

To help ensure safety, a driver should share their travel route with someone else. If they can wait out a storm, that would be better than trying to beat it. Furthermore, every vehicle should be equipped with a tank of gas, fresh antifreeze and an emergency kit containing items like jumper cables, a first-aid kit, a shovel and an ice scraper.

On the road, drivers should accelerate and decelerate slowly. They should also keep an 8-to-10-second distance from the vehicle in front. Furthermore, it's best to avoid using cruise control functions or the parking brake.

When a driver neglects these safety tips and gets in a car accident, they may be considered liable for a victim's injuries and vehicle damage. The victim can see a lawyer about filing a claim for compensation that would cover medical bills and other damages. Legal counsel could negotiate with the defendant's auto insurance company for a fair settlement, taking the case to court if one cannot be agreed upon.

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