December 05, 2022
Safe Driving During the Winter Months
Winter weather brings a host of challenges for drivers. Due to slippery roads, limited visibility, unexpected storms, and erratic traffic behavior, driving in winter is more hazardous than in other seasons. However, with a few key tips and precautions, it is possible to stay safe on the roads this winter season and arrive safely at your destination. Follow some helpful advice from your car accident lawyer in Silver Spring.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Before setting out on any winter journey, preparing yourself and your vehicle properly is essential. This includes checking the weather forecast and letting someone know your expected arrival time and route. It is also a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your car, including items such as a shovel, blankets, a flashlight, and snacks, in case of unexpected road closures or delays.
Before setting out, ensure that your vehicle is in good working order, including the following:
- Check that the tires are fully inflated
- Wipe snow and ice from headlights, turn signal lights, and brake lights
- Clear snow and ice from windows and rear-view mirrors
- Ensure that fluid levels are topped up
- Keep up with car maintenance visits to your mechanic
- Top up the windshield washer reservoir
- Be sure your radiator has sufficient anti-freeze, not just water
When Driving on Hazardous Roads
Before leaving, there is something else you need to do, and that is to allow the car to warm up. This is not so much for your comfort level as it allows the car’s defrosters to operate as they should. You do not want to be driving down the road in winter while simultaneously wiping the windshield with your hand because it is all foggy.
Allowing your car to warm up first ensures that the windshield will be clear for maximum visibility.
Once you are on the road, it is important to take things slow and steady. Accelerating, braking, and turning suddenly can cause your vehicle to lose traction, leading to a loss of vehicle control or another dangerous situation.
Instead, strive to maintain a consistent speed, leaving plenty of room between your vehicle and others on the road. This will give you more time to react if another driver makes a sudden move.
It may also help you to avoid skidding if you need to brake while on the highway. Be especially wary of black ice, a thin layer that forms on roads, bridges, and overpasses and can be difficult or impossible to spot. If the road ahead looks slick, slow down and exercise caution.
Snow tires are designed specifically for cold weather. They are equipped with unique tread patterns and thicker treads that improve traction in snow and ice. If snow tires are not an option or are impractical for your area of the country, consider all-season tires. These tires are designed to serve dual purposes; driving in summer and winter. They are the second best thing to winter tires.
No matter what type of tires you have, check your tread depth regularly and replace them if worn. Worn tires have less traction, making it more challenging to maintain control of your vehicle on winter roads.
Experts recommend inserting a penny in the tread. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible, it is time to replace your tires. Your auto mechanic is the best judge of when to get new tires, so be sure to get a professional opinion about how worn your tires are.
Take Advantage of Your Vehicle’s Features
Many vehicles are equipped with features that can help improve traction and stability in winter weather, such as all-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, and stability control systems. If your vehicle is equipped with these features, familiarize yourself with how they work. Use them to your advantage when driving in winter weather.
These safe winter driving tips may help you avoid a car accident this winter. But if something does happen, take comfort in the knowledge that Silver Spring lawyers can help you or your loved ones in the event of a problem. Montero Law Group, LLC, is composed of Silver Spring lawyers you can contact if you or a loved one is injured in a car accident. Call us for a free consultation today.