Admittedly, the worst thing about Midwestern winters is driving in them. While snow is essential to get into the holiday spirit, it sure doesn’t feel essential on the road. Driving in snowy and icy conditions requires your full attention and patience. Drivers should always ensure that they have at least half a tank of gas during the colder months, and it is crucial to perform all necessary maintenance on your vehicle before the snow flies. Once you’re actually on the road, the attorneys at Hupy and Abraham hope that you will follow these tips for safer winter driving.
Be prepared. Most accidents occur during the first snowfall of the year when drivers may not have prepared themselves for the poor conditions and may have forgotten their winter-driving techniques from last year. Check that your tires have at least a 6/32-inch deep tread or consider purchasing snow tires. Check your antifreeze levels and battery power. Make sure that your defroster and rear window defogger work.
Always use controlled movements. But, don’t use cruise control. It is very easy to lose traction on slippery roads. Ensure that all your turns are slow and deliberate. When braking, tap your brakes lightly and slowly. Never slam on your brakes, especially if you’re already sliding. Instead, turn into a skid and try to regain control of the vehicle.
Watch the roads. Inclement-weather road conditions can change in moments. Be aware that bridges and ramps will freeze first and be more treacherous. If there is snow or sleet falling, note the temperature because if it approaches freezing decrease your speed accordingly.
Drive slow! Some drivers believe that their four-wheel-drive vehicle makes them invincible on the road, but these technologies we rely on can and do fail. You should double or triple the space you leave between cars, and drop your speed considerably, even on the highway, when there’s snow.
Stay focused and alert. Be aware of what's going on around you. Actions by other vehicles may alert you to problems more quickly or give you time to react safely. There is no perfect speed in bad weather, so just drive slowly and safely.
The snow comes every year, but the driving never gets easier. Car crashes in the snow can be very dangerous and should be taken seriously. Please drive safe this winter and if for any reason you experience an accident caused by poor winter weather conditions, don’t hesitate to contact the attorneys at Hupy and Abraham for a free consultation at 800-800-5678.