Even after the holiday season has come and gone, we still have to take to the roadways with our vehicles, regardless of the fact that winter weather conditions may make driving difficult. Many of us commute to work, pick up groceries, retrieve prescriptions from the pharmacy, attend religious services, and visit family all year-round. Since some, if not all, of these destinations, are not within walking distance of our homes, we should all be aware of how to drive safely in the winter. If you are one of those people who thinks it’s perfectly safe to drive a mere ten miles or so to the mall even when a wintery mix is falling from the sky, keep this in mind. A whopping 75 percent of traffic accidents occur within 25 miles of home.
Is Your Vehicle Winter Travel-Ready?
The startling statistic above doesn’t mean you can’t drive in winter. That would be unrealistic. What it does mean is that you must ensure that you and your vehicle are prepared to travel in bad weather.
- When the temperature plunges downward, so does the power in your battery. Test it prior to the winter season and before embarking on a road trip.
- For tires to cut through snow, the tread depth should be at the very least 2/23 of an inch. Replace any tires that don’t measure up.
- The pressure in your tires drops when it gets cold. In winter, your vehicle’s PSI (Pound-force per Square Inch) should, depending on your vehicle, range from 30 to 35. This ensures a smooth run on snowy roadways.
- Be sure your air conditioner is working. Pushing the A/C button with the heater and defroster turned on will help defog your windshield faster.
- Check that your windshield wiper blades are working and that the wiper fluid is designed for minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To keep the gas line from freezing, never let your gas tank be less than half full.
- Make sure sensors, such as the emergency brake system sensor, are clean and in working order. They can stop functioning when they are dirty.
- Clean all outside mirrors.
Ten Tips for Traveling Safely This Winter
- Check the weather forecast before you leave. If traveling a long distance, check the weather at various points along your travel route and at your final destination. If the weather is going to be terrible, consider postponing your trip. If you do decide to travel, let someone know where you are going and when.
- Always travel with an emergency supply. It should contain:
- a first-aid kit
- flares or reflectors
- windshield washer fluid
- an ice scraper
- traction material, such as kitty litter
- warm clothing
- non-perishable food
- a tool kit
- a flashlight and extra batteries
- an inflated spare tire
- a wheel wrench
- a tripod jack
- jumper cables
- reflective triangles
- drinking water
- a reflective vest
- a fire extinguisher
- duct tape
- a snow brush
- a shovel
- windshield washer fluid
- telephone numbers for family, auto insurance, and a towing company
- Carry a cell phone and a car charger in case of emergency.
- Make sure that you and your passengers buckle your seatbelts.
- When accelerating, steering, and applying your brakes, be smooth. Jarring movements loosen your tires’ grip on icy or snowy roads.
- Give a lot of leeway to snowplows and other emergency and construction vehicles. Their range of vision is not optimal.
- Do not use hand-held devices or engage in any other distracting activities such as eating, drinking, and changing channels on your entertainment system while driving.
- Don’t use cruise control on snow or ice because it can cause your vehicle to hydroplane, spin, or skid.
- If you start to skid on black ice, don’t depress the brake. Drive in the direction of the skid until you pass over the ice.
- Drive cautiously on elevated surfaces such as overpasses, ramps, and bridges. They are prone to icing over before roadways.
Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys of Spiros Law, P.C. Today
If you have been injured in a traffic accident or have experienced another type of personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, call the experienced attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C.. We handle cases that include medical malpractice, sexual assault, product liability, workers’ compensation, defective medical devices, wrongful death, and many others.
Since 2005, we have been using a team approach for each and every case. Our reputation is such that other attorneys refer cases to us. Call our office at (815) 929-9292, chat with us online, or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. We will work with you every step of the way to get you the compensation you deserve.