In Massachusetts, as in many other states, winter poses a specific challenge to drivers. The rain and snow can make roads wet and icy, which makes it hard for tires to maintain contact with the ground. It’s not unusual for cars to spin out of control or rear-end someone in such weather. Residents who must go out in winter weather are advised to take the following safety tips to heart.

First and foremost, drivers must drop their speed. In snowy conditions, this may mean dropping below the speed limit. When they are approaching a hill, drivers will want to increase their speed before climbing it because accelerating and braking are both bad things to do on a slippery incline.

One’s stopping distance increases on an icy or wet road, so drivers should increase the distance from the vehicle in front of them. Five to six seconds’ worth of distance is an advisable minimum. Drivers should brake sooner than normal when about to stop and should try to keep momentum at traffic lights. That way, when the light turns green, they can avoid accelerating from a complete stop, which is dangerous. Lastly, drivers who own a car with ABS, EBD and BA features should know what proper braking is like with these features.

Weather is not to blame in motor vehicle crashes because drivers are always expected to keep control of their vehicles. Those who have been injured in a crash during the winter may have a case. Under Massachusetts law, though, those who contributed to a crash will have whatever damages they receive lowered in proportion to the degree of fault. To see how much they can receive, victims may want to consult with a lawyer. A lawyer may also be helpful during negotiations.