Winters in New Hampshire can be brutal and unkind, especially when it comes to driving. The most important thing to remember when driving in New Hampshire is to operate your vehicle in a manner that is appropriate for the weather conditions. New Hampshire law requires that all drivers, regardless of the posted speed limit, have a duty to drive in a reasonable manner for the existing weather and road conditions.
New Hampshire RSA 265:60 (I) and (IV)
No person shall drive a vehicle on a way at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event speed shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance on or entering the way in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.
The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with requirements of paragraph I, drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hillcrest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic by reason of weather or highway conditions.
While this may seem obvious on the highways and interstates, it is also important to bear this in mind while driving about town. You want to make sure that you leave enough space between your vehicle and the car in front of you, especially when approaching stop signs and traffic lights. An accident can happen very quickly when somebody brakes suddenly and they find themselves sliding into an intersection and ultimately into another vehicle.
Speed should also be taken into consideration, especially when turning corners. You want to make sure that you are in control of your vehicle when you turn. You do not want the end of your vehicle to fishtail and risk hitting anybody. You may also want to consider purchasing snow tires, which can be helpful during the winter months and might bring you some peace of mind. One final thought; snow tires, 4-wheel drive, or any specific make or model of your car will not prevent you from being in an accident. You must also do your part and be aware of your surroundings, heed weather warnings and act according to New Hampshire law when driving in bad weather.
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