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How can you stay safe when driving in winter?

Winter can be a hard time for drivers, and if you've been hit, you know all too well how damaging an accident can be to your life. Your Portland attorney may be helping with your case, but in the meantime, you can use these tips to stay safe on the winter roads.

How can you stay safe when the roads aren't very visible?

Driving too fast is the main cause of problems when visibility is low. Slowing down will help prevent accidents. Cruise control should never be used in ice or snow, because it can be hard to quickly stop if you're not paying enough attention. Over 10 percent of crashes are caused by driving too fast for the conditions, so if everyone slows down when visibility is low, many crashes resulting in injuries and death can be completely avoided.

Another issue with low visibility is that it's generally caused by ice or snow, rain, or sleet. This means that if you use your high beams, you're going to make it harder for yourself to see. Instead, use your low beams, so you and other drivers can see better.

If you really can't see ahead of your vehicle, it's best to stop and pull over. Should you really be driving with zero visibility? Not at all. Slowly pull to the side of the road or put your hazards on and slow to a stop. If visibility levels are that low, other drivers should be slowing down as well; this is often the reason roads come to a standstill during blizzards and heavy rains.

If you still worry that someone may not see you ahead, remember that you can use sound to your advantage. Blowing your horn every few minutes can signal that you're present and let others know how close you are.

Source: Oregon.gov, "Winter Travel Tips and Information," accessed Feb. 25, 2016

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