Winter Driving Tips

Winter Driving Tips

February 24, 2023

Driving is essential to our lives as it allows us to get to work, travel to destinations, and transport goods. When the weather conditions become rough, there is a high risk of accidents as it becomes hard to navigate. Therefore, even experienced drivers can find icy conditions hard to navigate. During the winter, we expect low temperatures, heavy rainfall, and snowfall in some regions; thus, precautions and safety should be a priority in such conditions. Accidents are more common during the winter, as the conditions are poor and can be troublesome for new drivers, especially when they cannot see the road. Therefore as you head out, ensure to drive safely, and in this blog post, we discuss some tips to guide you.

Inspect Your Vehicle Before Leaving

Your vehicle is the essential equipment used; therefore, ensure the car is in good shape before you leave. The cold weather experienced can affect your vehicle’s performance; thus, ensure you check your car’s brakes, battery, heater, defroster, and antifreeze. You must check the windscreen wipers, as you may experience some heavy or light showers. Also, your tires should be well-inflated to avoid unnecessary breakdowns as you travel. Moreover, you can bring an ice scrapper or broom to clear off any snow in case your car gets stuck.

Drive Slowly on Icy Roads

Speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents everywhere. You may be in a hurry to get to your destination; however, with the harsh weather conditions, you may face an obstacle that causes you to brake. While you brake, as the road is slippery, your car might skid, leading to a gruesome car accident. Therefore, drive at a low speed for your safety. You can leave your home early to accommodate the slow pace, ensuring you reach your destination in time.

Ensure You Keep the Headlights On

During the coldest season, sunlight is infrequent, and seeing on the road can become difficult. Furthermore, there may be blizzards, which make it harder to view the highway, thus causing car accidents frequently. Therefore, ensure your headlights are working and bright enough before heading out. While on the road, the headlights should always be on, even during the day, as they’ll help you navigate the harsh conditions. Headlights help you see the road ahead and make you more visible to other drivers.

Check the Weather Before Leaving

During the winter, you should always identify changing weather conditions. The weather tends to change occasionally without warning. Thus, if you are unaware, it can catch you off guard. Monitoring the conditions through weather forecast channels ensures you know how the weather is at a particular time. Before heading out, ensure you understand the day’s weather conditions to avoid going into a storm. Always ensure you heed storm and severe weather warnings, and it may be best to avoid the road since accidents happen more often during severe weather. However, if you must drive, plan your route accordingly and always give yourself a time allowance to reach your destination.

Beware of Black Ice

Black ice is a thin, invisible layer of ice that forms on the road, which makes the road extremely slippery. The icy layer is essentially hard to detect and can cause accidents easily. Slow down if you suspect the presence of black ice on the road, and switch off the cruise control to ensure you control your car. Being in control ensures you are flexible, and if there is black ice on the road, you can handle your vehicle when it skids off.

Use Chains or Snow Tires

Chains provide additional traction, helping drivers maintain control of their vehicles in icy conditions. The chains dig into the ice creating a temporary pathway for tires. The extra traction accommodates better control, reducing the risk of skidding. For drivers without snow tires, chains enable them to drive through terrain with frequent snowfall. On the other hand, snow tires provide better traction in cold weather though the tires may be insufficient for heavy hail conditions. You can use snow tires with chains for better traction on icy roads allowing you to travel smoothly.

Keep Your Gas Tank Full

The low temperature during the season allows for condensation, which can form in an empty gas tank. The formed condensation then leads to water getting into the car’s fuel lines and freezing them. Fuel lines containing water prevent fuel from reaching the engine, thus, stalling the vehicle and leaving you stranded. Additionally, a full gas tank adds weight to your car, thus improving traction on an icy road. The extra weight will ensure you can better control your vehicle in case of anything. Moreover, a full tank gives you adequate fuel to reach your destination even if you face unexpected challenges on the road.

Keep a Safe Distance

Since roads usually have ice, it becomes difficult to maneuver a car quickly during an emergency. Thus, tailgating is not a good idea as you should give other drivers ample time to react to unexpected situations. Driving at a safe distance ensures you avoid skidding and other car accidents caused by slipperiness. In addition, you are also safe from colliding with the car ahead if the driver stops unexpectedly. However, in case of an accident, you can always get a personal injury attorney if required.

Always Stay Alert

Cruising can be challenging, with poor visibility, slippery roads, and unexpected weather conditions. Therefore, stay focused and alert when on the road and avoid distractions such as texting or eating while driving, which can lead to accidents. Furthermore, get enough rest before heading out, as fatigue can impair your abilities and reaction times. Also, be aware of any potential hazards on the road, such as black ice, snowdrifts, or fallen trees. Additionally, you should know the signs of hypothermia, such as shivering and slurred speech. Hypothermia can impair judgment and reaction times, so drivers should take breaks if they start experiencing these symptoms and warm up in a safe place.

Stock up on Supplies

Supplies are crucial as they ensure you don’t freeze when stuck on the road due to a breakdown or other reasons. Ensure you have a blanket, flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, and extra clothing if you face a challenge. When traveling in a remote area with harsh weather conditions, you may consider packing extra supplies like a shovel and sand to improve traction. In addition, your phone should be charged or carry a portable charger to call for help if you get trapped in a hail storm. Stocking up on supplies ensures you are prepared for the unexpected as you plan to head out.

Stay In Your Car

In California, winter weather can bring unexpected storms and heavy rains in higher elevations. Therefore, if you get stranded due to car troubles, it is advisable to remain in your car as there is a risk of hypothermia. Your vehicle provides shelter, warmth, and protection from harsh elements. Moreover, you should turn your engine frequently to generate heat; however, ensure the exhaust pipe is clear to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Recently, a train of storms has rampaged California, forcing thousands of people to evacuate. Characterized by heavy rain, these storms are causing floods across the state. During the storms, accidents have significantly increased, with the heavy rainfall causing the roads to become slippery. Furthermore, the floods have swept away vehicles, causing widespread damage. Also, there are reports of mudslides from the intense storms battering California. As a precaution, residents should evacuate the high-risk regions.

Therefore, in such conditions, traveling with your car can be challenging and poses a great risk, although it is not impossible. Ensure you always drive carefully and heed all road safety measures to avoid accidents. With the discussed safety tips, you can reach your destination safely, but if you get into an accident, you can always get the services of a personal injury attorney.

Posted by

Michael Avanesian

Michael Avanesian, the founder and driving force behind Avian Law Group, is a passionate and dedicated attorney with a strong background in personal injury law. As a partner at JT Legal Group, Michael led the growth of the personal injury practice from a single employee to a team of over ninety professionals, securing over $2 billion in settlements for clients in just three years.

Recent Posts
April 11, 2024
Dealing with Long-term Disabilities After Car Accidents
April 4, 2024
Rear-End Collisions: Fault, Injuries, and Seeking Compensation