Inclement winter weather increases the odds of car accidents significantly, including potentially fatal ones. As a result, there are seven tips a driver needs to keep in mind when on the road in wintertime.
1. Winterize the Car
Taking a proactive stance is fundamental when it comes to driving during the winter. At the heart of being proactive in advance of wintertime is ensuring that an automobile properly is winterized. Comprehensive winterization of a vehicle includes everything from checking and changing the oil to ensuring that proper coolant is in the radiator.
In addition, in advance of the cold weather months and the prospect of challenging roadway conditions, tires need to be closely inspected. Specifically, attention must be paid to treadwear and the proper inflation of tires. Check the manufacturer’s guide regarding tire pressure.
2. Prepare and Stow an Emergency Kit
Another important tip for winter driving is vital to optimize safety during the cold winter months. Before hitting the road in wintertime, a motorist must ensure an appropriate emergency kit is in the vehicle.
A comprehensive wintertime emergency kit includes blankets, an extra set of warm clothing, nonperishable food items, freshwater, and a first aid kit. The fact is that a motorist can end up stranded in winter conditions. If that type of situation arises, a person’s life can be at risk in the absence of a basic emergency kit.
3. Be Fully Familiar with a Vehicle
Suppose a person has a fairly new vehicle or hasn’t previously taken the time to become familiar with its operation. In that case, a driver needs to do so before bad winter weather hits. Familiarization with a vehicle includes everything from fully understanding the dynamics of the steering and braking systems.
Individual automobiles have their own unique features and quirks. Before a vehicle and driver are tested by the challenges associated with foul weather motoring, this course of self-education may make the difference between safe driving and a wintertime accident, including a serious or even fatal one.
4. Don’t Warm Up a Vehicle in an Enclosed Area
Time and again, motorists elect to “warmup” their vehicles before taking off. Indeed, allowing an engine a bit of time to warm up can be a preferred course. However, what must never occur is the warming up of a motor vehicle in an enclosed space like a garage.
Every year, motorists end up dead in incidents where a car was left to warm up in a closed garage. These incidents represent entirely avoidable accidents. There is no reason for a motorist and even passengers to become asphyxiated in an enclosed space because a vehicle is turned on to warm up in advance of motoring.
5. Slow Down when on the Road
A key strategy to bear in mind when driving in the winter is to slow down. A significant cause of accidents in the wintertime is motorists driving in excess during winter weather. In addition to slowing down during poor winter weather, a driver also needs to allow more space between vehicles. A driver should add at least an additional five to seven seconds in following distance when motoring in bad winter weather.
6. Slowly Accelerate and Decelerate when Conditions are Poor
Never accelerate or decelerate quickly when streets are wet, icy, or snow-covered. One of the surest ways to lose control of a vehicle and end up in an accident is to accelerate or decelerate too rapidly when prevailing weather conditions are poor.
If emergency, quick braking is necessary, and a driver begins to lose control of a vehicle, there is an important tactic to always keep in mind. A driver needs to remember to steer into the direction a vehicle is sliding and not against it. Trying to steer against a sliding or skidding car will only contribute to the overall lack of control and heighten the situation’s danger.
7. Stay Home During Inclement Weather
Finally, when it comes to tips for driving in the wintertime, a fundamental tactic is to stay home during inclement weather. The stark reality is that too often, people get behind the wheel of a car when they should not be on the road. As a result, if the weather is rotten and going somewhere isn’t an absolute must, stay home.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Las Vegas, the legal team at The Schnitzer Law Firm is here for you. You can schedule an initial consultation with an injury attorney in Las Vegas at our firm at any time that is convenient for you by calling us at (702) 960-4050. There is no charge for an initial consultation with a Schnitzer law firm personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas.