Safe Driving Tips for The Winter and Bad Weather Conditions
Winter is coming and bringing harsh cold weather with it. This cold weather can cause an uptick in car accidents as the bad weather conditions winter brings can be dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 17 percent of all vehicle crashes happen during the winter months. Driving during the winter can present obstacles and dangers that were not present in the summer or fall. Drivers should always be cautious when driving, and should follow the below tips for winter and bad weather driving.
Before You Drive
Drivers should conduct safety checks on their cars before they start driving this winter. This means checking the car battery, tires, coolant, and/or wipers to make sure they are performing properly. Drivers should also check weather conditions, such as if it is going to snow make sure that they have tire chains in the vehicle that can be installed if needed. The installation of snow tires should also be considered, and those should be installed before the roads get snowy or icy. Readying a car before a driver goes out also means clearing the windows, mirrors, and/or sensors of all debris such as snow or ice.
Keep The Car Stocked
Drivers should have a cold-weather emergency kit in their car. If a vehicle breaks down, there should be blankets, extra food and water, and warm clothing in the car. In harsh weather conditions, there is no time frame for how long it could take a tow truck to get to the car. That makes it important to have extra blankets and warm clothing in a car so that the driver and occupants can stay warm in the cold, food and water are also important since there is not a definitive time frame to how long a person could be stuck. If your vehicle does break down, stay in your vehicle. A vehicle provides a temporary shelter and can make it easy for people to find you if your car breaks down.
The biggest safety tip is to drive slowly, drivers should not quickly accelerate or slam on the brakes. If the road is icy the tires might not have the best traction meaning it takes longer to slow down and that accelerating quickly can lose traction. Since slowing down takes a longer amount of time it also recommended that drivers increase their following distance between other drivers. Drivers should also not apply extra gas or stop on hills, it is extremely difficult to gain traction and this could result in the wheels spinning or rolling backwards down the hill.
Contact an Attorney Today
Driving safely this winter is possible, and drivers should not drive in harsh conditions unless absolutely necessary. Drivers should be aware of their surroundings and not engage in risky driving behavior, such as being distracted. If you or a loved one is involved in an accident this winter call our experienced attorneys today. We could guide you through this stressful time and give you advice on how to proceed.