Drivers will likely encounter poor road conditions while traveling in parts of Michigan this winter. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there are 2,000 deaths and roughly 500,000 accidents that occur each winter because of snow, cold temperatures and slippery road surfaces. However, there are steps that you can take to minimize the risk of an accident.

Stay home if possible

It may be best to stay home if there is significant ice or snow in the forecast or if the roads have not been sufficiently cleared. If you are planning on taking a road trip this winter, it may be a good idea to postpone it until after a major storm passes.

Try to keep the car moving

If possible, don’t come to a complete stop while approaching a traffic light when driving on a road covered by ice or snow. Generally speaking, it is a lot easier to accelerate when your vehicle hasn’t lost all of its forward momentum. Ideally, you will only accelerate on a slick road surface to avoid a slide or a skid. It is rarely a good idea to accelerate while traveling up a hill as it will just cause the vehicle’s wheels to spin. Furthermore, you should never stop while going uphill as it can be difficult or impossible to get your car moving again.

Increase your following distance

Your car will need more time to slow or come to a stop on an icy or wet surface. Therefore, it is important to increase your following distance to at least five seconds to provide enough time to avoid an accident.

If you are hurt in a car accident, it may be possible to obtain compensation for medical bills or other damages. A motor vehicle accident attorney may be able to prove that the driver who caused the crash was going too fast for road conditions or was following too closely when the collision took place. Your attorney might use weather reports, witness statements or other evidence in an effort to negotiate a favorable settlement.