19 Dec 10 Winter Driving Tips
Before you leave for Big Bear Mountain, Mammoth Mountain or any snowy destination this Winter, you may need to refine your good driving habits in inclement weather. After all, we rarely get much practice driving in the snow here in SoCal. And considering that adverse weather conditions are a significant factor in nearly half a million crashes and over 2,000 road deaths every year, every driver should be ready to take on the elements this winter season. Keep these winter driving tips in mind to help prevent collisions while driving.
Cold weather driving tips:
- Be prepared in the case that you get stranded. Keep some cold-weather gear, including extra food and water, warm clothing, a flashlight, a glass scraper, blankets, medications, and other items you might find useful.
- Don’t run out of gas. Getting stranded, even if you’re prepared, should be avoided at all costs! So make sure to have at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times. This is also important because an empty fuel tank can accumulate condensation, which could freeze in extremely cold weather.
- Do not use cruise control in icy or snowy conditions. These slippery surfaces should be treated with special precautions so you can react or break when necessary.
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated to ensure they have sufficient tread when crossing snow.
Tips for driving in the snow:
- Drive slower than normal, especially when making turns or preparing to apply brakes. Remember your tires will have less traction on snow, so reduce your speed to help avoid losing control.
- Increase your following distance to five or six seconds. Remember, it takes longer to stop in bad weather. So to prevent fender benders, give the person in front of you plenty of room with enough time for you to come to a safe stop.
- Don’t try to speed up hills. You may look at a snow-covered hill with the urge to power to the top of it. However, applying this extra gas on your snow-covered tires will just make your wheels spin. Try to get a little inertia so it can carry you to the top of the hill. Then, once you’ve reached the top, you can reduce your speed and coast down the opposite side.
- Avoid coming to a complete stop, if possible. Stopping creates a significant difference in inertia than when you’re still rolling. So, try to keep from coming to a complete stop when you can.
- Watch out for black ice. While snowy roads can be obvious, freezing night-time temperatures following daytime snowmelt are a deadly combination. Dangers of black ice can be reduced by driving slow and always paying close attention to the road.
- Stay home when you can. Make wise judgment calls when you face dangerous driving conditions and choose not to drive if you can. Drive only when necessary when the roads are bad.
With all the hustle and bustle this season comes an increase in travel. So make sure you do so safely. Slowing down and taking extra precautions for the conditions will help eliminate your potential for accidents. And if you face the complications of a car accident caused by the negligence of another party, do not hesitate to reach out for expert legal counsel. We are prepared to advise your legal concerns and advocate for your case in this time of need. And in all of your travels, near and far, we at The Law Offices of William D. Shapiro wish you a happy and primarily, safe holiday