Driving in the snow can be one of the most stressful parts of any winter. Whether it’s other cars moving slowly, your car sliding on the roads, or lack of visibility, snowy conditions lead to increased car accidents.
While there are some incidents that can’t be avoided, you can take steps to help reduce your risk of an accident.
1. Warm your car up
A simple step that you can take is warming your car up before leaving the house. Check the weather in the morning to see whether or not you need to start the car ahead of time. The time spent defrosting the windows can help visibility while driving. Never warm your car up in a garage, even with the door open, to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
2. Make sure your car is in good condition
Make sure that your car is in good condition every winter by having a mechanic look over your:
- Hoses and fan belts
- Spark plugs
- Air, fuel and emissions filters, and PCV valve
- Tire wear and air pressure
- Antifreeze level and freeze line
3. Know how to prevent a crash
Sometimes, no matter how much you prepare, conditions on the road make it difficult to avoid a crash. The first thing to remember is that if visibility is severely limited, pull off to the side of the road and do not attempt to drive any further.
You should never use cruise control in slippery conditions, and you must limit all of your distractions to avoid adding more danger to an already hazardous situation. Additionally, you should accelerate and decelerate slowly and increase following distance to 8 to 10 seconds.
4. Always keep your gas tank at least half filled
Snowy and icy road conditions can lead to extreme traffic, sometimes resulting in travel times up to several hours for only a few miles. If you find yourself in a situation like this, the last thing you want to happen is to run out of gas. Always keeping your gas tank at least half full can reduce your risk of running out of gas in severe traffic and cold conditions.
5. Follow proper safety if you get stranded
If you get stuck or stranded, you must take the proper precautions to avoid further harm. If possible, move your car to the side of the road. If you are stuck, do not try to push the vehicle. Signal distress using a brightly colored cloth tied to an antennae or out of a car window and always use your hazard lights.
Following proper precautions can help keep you and your family safe on the road this winter. If you or a loved one was injured as a result of a car accident, a Long Island Personal Injury Attorney from The Odierno Law Firm, P.C. can help.