Safe Driving Tips for Winter WeatherDecember 2, 2019
The first official day of winter is not until December 21, but once the temperatures begin to drop, snow, ice, and freezing rain can occur when we least expect it. Motorists should prepare for winter weather conditions sooner rather than later by making sure that their vehicle has been serviced, and that any repairs or replacements are made. Ideally, motorists should avoid driving during inclement weather, particularly when the roads are covered in ice and snow, but if staying put is not an option, knowing certain safety tips can help drivers stay safe during the winter months.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, hazardous road conditions caused by winter weather are responsible for over 2,000 fatalities each year. The agency strongly urges drivers to keep the following safety tips in mind when driving in snowy and icy conditions:
Preparing for the Cold
- Keep blankets, water, extra clothing, a flashlight, ice scraper, batteries, cell phone charger, first-aid kit, sand or kitty litter, and non-perishable food in the car in case of emergency.
- Keep the gas tank at least half full at all times.
- Check the vehicle’s battery, lights, cooling system, and wiper fluid.
- Make sure that the vehicle’s tires are properly inflated and that the tread is not worn.
- Check to see if your vehicle has any safety issues or repairs that need to be done.
- When warming up the car, always do so outside rather than in the garage or any other enclosed area.
- Plan your travel route and allow extra time to get to your destination safely.
Cold Weather Driving Tips
- Reduce your speed so that the tires do not lose traction on snow or ice.
- Leave extra space between your vehicle and the car in front of you.
- Do not slow down or speed up quickly.
- Avoid stopping if at all possible, particularly when going up a hill. Maintain a slow speed to avoid spinning the wheels.
- When braking, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and apply steady pressure to the brake pedal.
Safety Tips for Long Distance Trips
Always check the weather before hitting the road and avoid driving, if possible. If you must travel, keep the following tips in mind:
- Do not leave your vehicle. It will provide you with temporary shelter and help keep you warm. It will also help rescuers find you.
- Do not overexert yourself when digging your vehicle out of ice or snow.
- Make sure that nothing is blocking the exhaust pipe.
- Alert rescue personnel by tying a brightly colored cloth to the vehicle’s antenna. If it becomes dark, keep the dome light on if possible so rescuers can find you easily.
- Stay as warm as possible.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Winter Weather-Related Accidents
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident while driving in ice, snow, or freezing rain, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries and ensure that your legal rights are protected. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, we represent clients throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.