Winter driving can be dangerous. In fact, adverse weather and/or poor roadway conditions account for nearly 1.2 million accidents and over 5,000 deaths every winter, according to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Keep yourself safe on the road with these winter driving tips.
- Get ready for bad weather: Before winter arrives in full force, take your car in for maintenance, replace the windshield wipers, and consider replacing your tires. If a storm is predicted, top off the fluids and fill the gas tank.
- Prepare your car for the drive: Give yourself extra time to scrape ice and snow off the car, if necessary. Be thorough, cleaning more than just the windshield—the side mirrors, headlights, windows, hood, and roof need to be cleared off, too.
- Stock a winter survival kit: Make sure you have an ice scraper, toolbox, tow rope, collapsible shovel, basic first aid kit, flashlight, and booster cables in your trunk. When taking a long drive, bring a heavy coat, blanket, non-perishable food, and water with you as well.
- Tell others your travel plans: Don’t leave the house without telling other members of your household where you’re going. If you’re visiting friends or family, tell them your estimated arrival time. Have a cell phone with you in case of an emergency, but stay off your phone while driving.
- Practice safe winter driving habits: Remember, snowy conditions differ greatly from dry roads. Follow these tips:
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly to help your tires retain their grip.
- Reduce your speed to account for lower traction on snow-packed roads.
- Stay three times further back than normal from the car ahead of you, so you have time to stop.
- Brake earlier than necessary. Pump the brakes when approaching a stop to prevent them from locking up.
- Avoid coming to a complete stop, if possible. It’s easier to get your car moving again if it’s still slowing rolling forward when the stoplight turns green.
- Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on a slick road is likely to make your wheels spin.
- Be extra aware of things happening around you so you can react quickly, if necessary.
- Realize that being late to work is better than getting in an accident.
- Stay home if you can: If it’s possible to postpone your travel plans or work from home during a blizzard, do so. Staying off the road entirely is the only way to guarantee you won’t get in an accident due to bad weather.
The auto accident attorneys at the Law Firm of Kevin Paul Childers are committed to helping our clients receive compensation following a car accident, no matter the details surrounding the collision. Whether winter conditions were partly to blame or not, it never hurts to speak with a lawyer after a car accident. We’ll work hard to achieve the best results in your case, so please schedule your free case analysis today.