During the winters, adverse road conditions due to inclement weather may significantly increase road risk. Under rain, snow, sleet, and other wet road conditions, the roads can become unpredictable. This is why it is critically important to adapt to these changes in order to stay safe on the road.
A large number of road accidents occur during the winter season, precisely because of the changes in the weather and road conditions. At the same time, the holiday season marks the end-of-year winter days. While these days are marked with a lot of fun and partying, they are also the time when road traffic increases and so do road crashes. So you have to be extra vigilant during this particular stretch of the winters.
It is best to take a methodical approach to safe driving during the winters. Here are some things you can put on your checklist for the season’s driving.
Ensure Vehicle Maintenance
This one is obvious but many vehicle owners tend to overlook it. If you are heading out in the winters, make sure you do a quick check on the vehicle and ensure that it is in good shape to hit the road. Check the antifreeze and oil levels. Also, look up the fuel level and keep it topped off as often as possible. Other things you can check include:
- Tires. Tire pressure can drop with the drop in the temperature. So it is important to check the tires every time you head out in the winter. You may also want to invest in a pair of tires that offer better traction and grip. Such tires will be particularly useful when you are driving in snow or on an icy road.
- Brakes. Brakes are another vital tool you need to steer your vehicle through adverse road conditions. Winter driving requires a lot of braking. So it is a must to ensure that your vehicle’s brakes are in good order. Get the brakes checked every time you visit the technician for a service or an oil change. When applying brakes, know that using a steady pressure slowly is best for the winter road conditions. Sudden breaks can cause the vehicle to slip and veer out of your control.
- Windshield wipers. The windshield wipers have to do a lot of work during the winters. Under rain, snow, ice, or sleet, you will need these vipers to function properly. Make sure you check the fluids for the vipers and ensure that they are at the right level.
Clear the Path and the Vehicle
When you are gearing up the vehicle, it is important to remove ice that may have gotten piled up on it. You may need to use tools like a brush to clear up your vehicle. Likewise, clear the path near the vehicle using a shovel. This will save your vehicle doing the hassle of plowing through a stuck position.
Road traction for vehicles in the winters is unpredictable at best. This is one of the reasons why above 2,000 road fatalities occur every winter. An easy fix for this is to drive slowly. Gradually accelerate your vehicle and try to keep it at a steady, low speed. Being slow helps you change lanes, pull out, or take a turn without risking slipping on the ice and losing control of the vehicle. When it comes to braking, avoid it when you can. It is better to keep your vehicle rolling at a slow speed than to stop it and gear it up again.
Keep Your Distance
Try to maintain a larger than usual distance between your vehicle and the other vehicles. This gives you plenty of time to stop in case you must. The larger distance accounts for the risk of slippage and helps you prevent a collision.
Have an Emergency Kit
Your vehicle may break down in the middle of nowhere and the cold conditions can make things worse. Be prepared for such a situation. Make sure you have an emergency kit in the car with you. This can include a blanket, warm clothing, a flashlight, energy bars and medication, water, and a glass scraper. A kit like this can be a real lifesaver sometimes.
When to Hire an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
Despite all the precautions, it is still possible that you run into an accident during the winter season. When that happens, you should get the help of an Atlanta car accident lawyer at the earliest. Here at Ted Greve & Associates, we help you seek fair compensation for any losses sustained in a car crash. Call us today to discuss your case with us.