Winter Conditions And Your New Driver

Driving during the winter presents a number of problems for inexperienced drivers, so it's important that you discuss with your teenager the hazards they might confront during the cold-weather months. The following are two things your new driver may not realize about winter driving.

Black Ice

To your teen, the road may appear merely wet. In reality, however, that shiny asphalt is a sign of black ice. Unfortunately, many drivers don't realize until it's too late that they've traveled onto this dangerous road condition and are spinning out of control. If the weather is literally freezing outside, advise your new driver to:

  • Observe the road ahead of them for signs of black ice. If the road is dry, but they're seeing shiny patches that look like shallow puddles of water, that is probably black ice.
  • Drive slowly.
  • Do not brake if they hit black ice.
  • Take their foot off of the accelerator
  • Try to maintain a steady direction with the steering wheel.
  • Don't panic, and don't overreact.

Clean Off Your Car Completely After a Snow or Ice Storm

Is your teen always running out the door at the last minute to get places? During the winter months, they need to understand that this may not always be possible and that they should give themselves plenty of time to completely free their car of ice and snow before hitting the roads.

While this may seem like a real pain to a teenager, they must understand that if they don't, and a sheet of ice or snow flies off the roof of their car, they could be held liable if it strikes another vehicle. On the other hand, if your teen gets into an accident and is injured because another party has failed to clean off their car, they should get that vehicle's information, if possible. A personal injury lawyer, like from Gallagher Law Offices PC, will need this information to pursue a claim on your behalf. 

Winter Accidents

In the event your teenager does get into an accident because of hazardous winter conditions, it is important that they understand the information they need to obtain from the other parties involved in the incident. Advise them to:

  • Get the driver's license, insurance information, license plate number, and contact information of the other driver.
  • Get the name of any witnesses to the accident in the event that your teen is injured, and you will need to hire a personal injury lawyer to recover for their medical claims. 
  • Call the police. Your teen needs to advise the police if the other party was driving inappropriately for the conditions. 

The better informed your teen is about driving in winter conditions, the safer they will likely be. So take the time to talk to them before the first storm