The threat of the “wintery mix”, ice, and snow brings hazards all drivers must be aware of to the roadway. It’s no surprise that winter weather plays a large part in the increased number of car accidents this time of year. This is especially true in Pennsylvania, where statistics show the highest number of roadway fatalities occur.
Keep the following tips in mind while driving in ice or snow:
- Check your tires. Your vehicle’s tires are what keep it on the road in slick conditions, so make sure each tire is properly inflated and has plenty of tread.
- Be prepared. Being stranded on the side of the road in freezing weather due to impassable roads or an automobile accident can be a recipe for disaster, so be sure to have emergency supplies in your vehicle. These supplies include blankets, waterproof boots, gloves, cold weather gear, flashlight, flares, food, and water.
- Never warm up a vehicle in a garage or closed area. Warming up a vehicle in a closed-off area puts you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Know your route. Before heading out into deteriorating weather conditions, make sure the roads and highways you plan to use are clear.
- Keep everyone informed. Make someone is aware of your route and the estimated time to expect your arrival.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
- Keep the gas tank filled at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
- Avoid stopping your vehicle in traffic. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
- Keep safe driving distance. Always anticipate the unexpected, and allow several car lengths between you and the driver ahead of you. The rule of thumb is at least one car length for every 10 mph of your travel speed.
- Don’t panic. If you find yourself in a situation where you lose control of your vehicle, or spin-out from a slick area of the roadway, don’t try and slam on the brakes. This can actually cause you to further lose control of the vehicle. Instead, take your foot off of the gas and gently turn the wheel of your vehicle in the opposite direction as you are spinning.
- Avoid using parking brake in cold, rainy, and snowy weather.
- Never use Cruise Control on slick or icy roads.
- If you become stuck in unfavorable driving conditions, stay with your vehicle. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline. Not only will this provide temporary shelter, but it makes it easier for rescuers to locate you.
- Don’t try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
- Stay connected, but not distracted. Carry a car charger for your mobile phone, and tune to a reliable station for updates on weather conditions and roadway conditions. If you are using a traffic app, don’t be distracted as a driver. Let your passenger be the monitor, or pull off the road if you need to be the one to check it.
- Stay home! If it isn’t absolutely necessary to drive in icy conditions, stay safely inside.
It is important to remember that car accidents can’t always be avoided, however following these tips can help to keep you safe. This is why motorists should be aware of the steps to take following a traffic collision as well.
The experienced team of car accident lawyers at Kwartler Manus has been helping injury victims for over 40 years and are always available to provide free legal consultations. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact us online or by phone at (267)310-1097 today.