Driving in the winter can be more hazardous than during other times of the year due to a number of factors, including inclement weather and increased traffic around the holidays.
Our Cincinnati car accident attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy have compiled the following winter driving tips to help you stay safe on the roads this season. If you are injured in a car accident, contact us today to schedule a free case consultation to learn more about your legal rights and options for pursuing compensation.
Winter Driving Tips
During the winter, take extra precautions to help keep you and your passengers safe while driving. Follow these tips to help ensure safe winter travel:
- Make sure tires are properly inflated. Low temperatures can decrease air pressure so check it daily. Proper inflation helps your tires grip the road correctly.
- Inspect your vehicle to make sure everything is in good working order. Check all lights, windshield wipers, brakes, tires, defrost, radiator and other components.
- Prevent your gas line from freezing up by keeping your gas tank at least halfway filled during the winter.
- In addition to everyday emergency supplies such as flashlights, water, jumper cables and first aid equipment, pack your vehicle with warm clothing, blankets and other items to keep yourself and passengers warm if stranded. Make sure to keep a cellphone with you as well as a snow shovel and ice scraper.
- When possible, do not use your parking break during cold or snowy conditions.
- Do not drive using cruise control when driving on wet, icy or snowy roads.
Driving Long Distances
The winter holidays are a popular time for road travel, with many motorists traveling long distances for holiday gatherings. These travel tips will help you stay safe during long-distance drives:
- Plan your route before take-off. Check the weather forecast for the areas you will be traveling through so you know what to expect. You may want to delay your trip or alter your route if winter storms are expected during your route.
- Always let someone else know your route when driving long distances, in case you become stranded. Tell others your destination and what time you estimate arriving.
- Pack your vehicle with enough emergency supplies for several days in case you become stranded. This includes high-calorie non-perishable food, water, warm clothing, blankets, medication and a backup battery pack for your cellphone.
Driving Safely In Snow
Snowy road conditions require extra caution when driving. To drive safe during snow, follow these tips:
- Always reduce your speed and increase your distance between vehicles – from eight to 10 seconds instead of the regular three to four. This provides extra time and distance to react to hazards.
- Slowly accelerate and decelerate to maintain traction and avoid skidding.
- Increase stopping time for stop signs and stoplights, as icy roads require more time to reduce speed.
- Do not stop if it is not needed. It requires more inertia to start moving your vehicle from a full stop versus while the vehicle is still rolling.
- When traveling up hills, do not apply extra gas as it can force your tires to spin. Gain a little extra momentum before reaching the hill to help you reach the top. Reduce your speed at the crest of the hill and travel down it slowly. Do not stop while traveling up a hill.
- Know your braking system. Use threshold braking to stop by keeping your foot’s heel on the floor while the ball of your foot puts firm and steady pressure on the pedal.
If you become stuck in the snow:
- Stay in your vehicle and do not attempt to walk for help in snow storms as you may lose sight of the vehicle and get lost. Staying put makes it easier for rescue teams to find you, and gives you shelter from the storm.
- Tie brightly-colored clothing on your antenna or secure it in a rolled-up window to signal distress to others. Overnight, keep the dome light in the car on if possible – it uses minimal electricity and can help keep your vehicle visible at night.
- Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow and ice. If it is clogged, deadly carbon monoxide can back up into the cabin when the engine runs.
- Keep your body warm with whatever is available. Floor mats, maps or newspapers can provide insulation. Conserve gas by only running the vehicle long enough to take away the chill.
Contact A Licensed Cincinnati Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact a licensed Cincinnati personal injury attorney to help you pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation with us and learn what legal options may be available to you. We do not charge upfront fees and you only pay us if we recover compensation in your case.