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People who don't adjust driving habits for weather cause crashes

Driving is one of the most dangerous activities that most adults engage in on a daily basis. Every time you get behind the wheel, you incur the potential risk of a collision. Some of your driving habits may actually increase the risk of a crash or collision when you are on the road.

One of the most common driving mistakes is the assumption that you can drive the same way all year round. Maine has incredibly varied seasons, which is one of the perks of living in this beautiful state. However, the changing environmental and weather conditions through the seasons require adjusting your approach to driving in order to stay safe.

Inclement weather requires additional care at the wheel

Winter is one of the most dangerous seasons to drive in throughout Maine, but it is not the only season that has inclement weather that can impact driver safety. Heavy rains in the spring, summer and fall, as well as strong winds in any season can impact how you should drive. Even the slanting sun of summer and fall can distract or blind drivers, leading to increased risk of a crash.

The simplest adjustment to make to protect yourself and the people riding with you is to slow down when weather conditions are bad. The more intense the precipitation or the stronger the wind, the more you should slow down and the more space you should leave between your vehicle and other cars on the road.

Going slower gives you more time to adjust to condition changes, while that extra space gives you an opportunity to brake and come to a complete stop if necessary. Leaving some flexibility in your schedule to ensure you can reach your destination on time while driving slower is important. Being late isn't an excuse to endanger others.

Law enforcement officers expect you to drive based on the weather

People are more likely to get in car accidents when the weather is bad. As mentioned above, many times this relates to someone's unwillingness to adjust their driving practices to reflect the current weather conditions. It is important for anyone on the road to understand that police responding to an accident call will not look the other way if weather is a factor in a crash.

Instead, they will look at whether everyone involved in the collision handled their vehicle in a manner appropriate for the current conditions. You can abide by all traffic laws, including the posted speed limit, and still wind up legally responsible for a crash. Driving at the speed limit during bad weather may be dangerous, and police expect drivers to adjust their habits based on road conditions. A little caution can go a long way toward keeping the roads safe.

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Terry Garmey & Associates
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Portland, ME 04101

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