Driving safe during Montana winters

Winter has already come to some parts of Montana, leading to slippery and dangerous road conditions. Driving in winter weather increases the chance of a serious or fatal car accident so it is important to be reminded of some tips that can keep you safe on the roads.

Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to arrive if you are traveling in winter weather. Avoid drinking and driving and always wear your seat belt.

Be aware of the surrounding conditions when you are driving in winter weather. While you should stay focused on the road ahead of you, you should also be checking your mirrors and keeping an eye out for other drivers. Always check at least a quarter to a half mile ahead to make sure you maintain a safe distance between other drivers.

Preparing your vehicle

Do not leave home without adequate supplies in your vehicle and make sure your cellphone is fully charged. The roads might be safe to drive on when you leave your house but quickly deteriorate, leaving you with no option but to pull off the road to a safe place.

Keep your vehicle stocked with water, food, blankets and extra clothing. If you are stranded, stay with your vehicle until help arrives. Run the engine every hour or so.

Drive at a safe speed. In the winter, this does not always mean driving at the speed limit. When it is snowing or roads are slippery, a safe speed means driving below the speed limit. Go especially slow on roads that look wet, as they could be frozen. This is often referred to as black ice. Never use cruise control when driving on snow or ice.

Knowing what to do after an accident

You can be the safest driver in the world, but you still cannot control how others drive. An accident caused by another driver’s negligence in winter weather can leave you with serious injuries, but there are legal options you can explore to receive compensation for your damages.

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