Tips for Getting Caught in A Blizzard While Driving
Winter is here, which means there will be a lot of driving in the snow ahead. The best way to avoid an accident in the snow is to stay home, but what happens when you get caught in a blizzard while you’re driving? Keep these tips in mind if you have no choice but to drive in blizzard conditions.
Although a blizzard can come unexpectedly, keep an eye on the weather forecasts before you go on a long drive in the winter. This gives you the best chance of avoiding a snowy drive. If you do decide to head out, make sure other people know where you are going, the route you are taking, and your estimated time of arrival.
Stay prepared by keeping basic snow supplies in your car. A shovel, an ice scraper, and a foam broom are very important tools to keep with you if your car gets stuck in the snow. It is also a good idea to bring along a phone charger and any emergency numbers you may need. Keeping blankets, gloves, hats, water, and snacks could save your life if you get stranded, so having those in your car is essential.
On the Road
Be patient with yourself and others on the road if you are traveling through a blizzard. Remaining alert and in control of your vehicle is essential to keep you and others safe.
Driving slow on snowy roads can also help keep yourself and others safe. It is much easier to control your vehicle when you are driving below the speed limit. Accelerate and decelerate as slowly as possible to help you regain traction and avoid skidding. You should also maintain a distance of about 10 seconds between you and the car in front of you. Stopping in ice and snow is difficult, so keeping a safe distance from the car ahead of you can help you avoid a collision.
Make sure to never use cruise control when you are driving in icy or snowy conditions, and do not stop unless you absolutely have to. Getting moving again from a full stop during a blizzard can be difficult and dangerous. Driving in the tracks of the car in front of you can also make it easier to control your car.
When to Stop
When driving during a blizzard, there is always a possibility that the weather may worsen to a point where you have no choice but to stop, whether it be due to poor visibility, skidding, or other factors. If you cannot make it to a safe location, sheltering in place might be your best option. In this case, your vehicle is your shelter. Do not wander from your car, as you might not be able to find it on your way back. Insulate your body with anything you have available, such as a blanket you keep in your car or even your floor mats.
If you have one, attach a colorful item of clothing to your antenna, side mirror, or window. This will make it easier for emergency services to find your vehicle. Turning your interior lights on if it gets dark can also help. If you choose to keep your car running to use the heating system, make sure that your exhaust pipe is clear before starting the car. A backed-up exhaust pipe could put you at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.
Stay Safe on the Roads This Winter
When driving in the snow, especially in a blizzard, it is important to remain calm and make smart decisions. By remembering these tips and preparing your car for the journey, you can help keep yourself safe in case of an emergency. If you do become involved in a winter weather car accident, an experienced attorney could help you pursue the compensation you need. Call our office today to learn more.