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Avoiding auto accidents in the winter

Minnesota residents who need to drive in winter weather should know what they must do to be safe. After all, accidents are more common when the roads are wet, icy or snowy. The first thing to do is to slow down because the faster a car goes, the less traction there is. Loss of traction increases braking distance, so drivers should keep far away from the vehicle in front. A distance of at least five to six seconds is recommended.

As for braking, it should be done smoothly and sooner than if the pavement was dry. Many cars are equipped with automatic braking as well as features like brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution, so drivers should know how to brake properly with these systems. Braking to a complete stop should be avoided when possible because accelerating from that position is hard in adverse road conditions. Drivers who approach a light could keep some momentum until it turns green.

Accelerating should not be harsh. If they see a hill ahead, drivers should gain forward motion on the flat area and then travel uphill without feeding gas. Braking should be avoided on an incline, too. Once at the top, drivers are encouraged to slow down because that's when any pedestrians or oncoming traffic will become visible.

When there are car accidents, the first thing that's usually established is fault. Those who are injured and who are deemed 50% or less at fault can file a claim under personal injury law, but whatever amount they might recover in damages will be proportioned to that degree of fault. Anyone who wishes to file may want to have a lawyer evaluate the case beforehand. A lawyer's help may be beneficial when it comes to proving the defendant's negligence and negotiating a settlement with the insurance companies.

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