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Icy Roads Mean Dicey Driving Conditions

New England's wintry weather conditions have wreaked havoc on the area's roads. From a string of fatal car accidents to sudden road closures, drivers are understandably on edge about getting behind the wheel, reports The Associated Press.

As all Bostonians know, the combination of rain and snowmelt can make for treacherous road conditions.

Fortunately, there are simple precautions drivers can take to help prevent accidents on icy roads.

Driving Safety Tips

During this time of year, motorists and pedestrians are urged to be cautious as sub-freezing temperatures turn wet roads and sidewalks icy. Areas that are particularly problematic include those that are unsalted in addition to bridges and overpasses.

For your own safety -- and to shield yourself from legal liability -- remember to take the following five winter driving tips:

  1. Drive slowly. Remember, speed limits are rated for normal, dry weather conditions;
  2. Increase your following distance. Add at least an extra 10 feet between you and the car ahead of you so you can stop in time to avoid an accident;
  3. Pump the brakes. To slow your speed, gently pump the brake pedal rather than slamming them, which can cause your car to lose control and slide even more;
  4. Release the pedal when you slide. As soon as your car begins to slide on black ice, take your foot off the gas pedal; and
  5. Get a tune-up. Before you hit the road, get a tune-up to check your battery, cooling system, windshield washer reservoir, windshield wipers and defrosters, and tires.

Need Extra Help?

The unfortunate reality of winter driving is that many drivers wind up in accidents, even after taking safety precautions.

Immediately following an accident, remember to stay at the scene, check for injuries, exchange insurance information, and record damage to both cars (for example, taking pictures with your cell phone).

Drivers who sustained physical injuries or whose vehicles were damaged from an accident -- even from something seemingly minor such as a fender bender -- will want to get some help from a car accident attorney to limit their own liability and recover their costs.

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