Winter Driving: 8 Important Safety Tips to Remember!
Now that we have entered the month of December, we can expect the winter weather to cause extremely dangerous road conditions for motorists across the United States.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over the last two years there have been more than 350 fatal crashes, and an estimated 25,000 injuries that can be linked back to winter driving.
Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban have put together some winter weather driving tips to help you prepare your vehicle and yourself for winter driving safety.
1) Our Most Important Tips:
The most important winter driving tip that we can provide is simply to slow down.
Remember, winter driving is not a race, it’s a marathon – pace yourself and make it to your destination safely.
It is incredibly difficult to control or stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered surface.
On average, there are 100,000 police-reported motor vehicle accidents that occur in wintry conditions. Another great tip would be to increase the amount of space that you leave between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Furthermore, it is best to make sure you do not crowd or tailgate a snowplow or attempt to drive on the side of the truck itself.
Snowplows are notorious for driving slowly, making incredibly wide turns, stopping often, overlapping lanes, and moving between the road and the shoulder frequently.
If you find yourself stuck behind a snowplow, stay far enough away, and use caution when attempting to pass.
As the temperature outside decreases, so does your tire inflation pressure – make sure that each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure before engaging in any type of winter driving.
Make sure to refrain from inflating your tires to the number shown on the actual tire itself, as that is not the recommended level, but more so the maximum level of inflation pressure your tires can handle.
Other Tire Tips:
- Inspect your tires at least once a month and before long road trips.
- Check your tires when they are ‘cold’ — meaning at time when they have not been used for at least three consecutive hours.
- Check each tire’s age, as some vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing tires every six years.
If you find any damage related to your tires, make sure to take them to a service professional as soon as you can and especially before any winter driving.
3) Car Seats:
Winter weather typically means that children will be dressed by their parents in winter clothing, like heavy winter-specific jackets and pants.
However, it is important to remember that heavy winter jackets can interfere with the proper harness on a car seat.
When placing your child into a car seat in the winter, pick thin, warm layers and place blankets or coats around your child after the harness is securely fastened for extra warmth.
When the temperature drops, so does battery power.
In colder weather, gasoline and diesel engines take more battery power to start, and electric vehicles can expect to see reduced driving ranges.
Before the winter weather gets out of hand, make sure to take your vehicle down to your mechanic, and have them check your battery, charging system(s), belt, and anything else that may be old or need to be repaired.
5) Floor Mats:
Due to slushy, cold, winter conditions, you might consider switching out your usual floor mats for much thicker material, such as rubber.
Improperly installed floor mats in your vehicle can interfere with both acceleration and breaking, which can in turn increase your risk of a motor vehicle accident.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to professionally install the floor mats and use retention clips to secure the mats.
Check your headlights, break lights, turn signals, emergency lights (e.g., hazards) and your interior lights to make sure all are in working order.
7) Windshield Wipers:
Most people do not realize that you can quickly go through a lot of windshield wiper fluid during a heavy snowstorm.
It is important to make sure that your vehicles reservoir is full of high-quality “winter” fluid with deicer before you venture out. Make sure defrosters and all windshield wipers work and replace any worn out blades.
It may also make sense to consider installing heavy-duty winter wipers if you live in an area that is known to receive copious amounts of snow.
8) Cooling System:
Finally, make sure that you have enough coolant in your vehicle, and that it meets the manufacturer’s specifications.
It is also important to check the cooling system for leaks, to test the coolant itself, and to drain out or replace the old coolant.
You can also visit your mechanic for a tune-up and ask them to check for leaks, badly worn hoses, and any other needed parts or repairs.
Make Sure to Stay Up to Date with MRSB!
Click below to follow us on all social media platforms to stay informed on personal injury and mass tort news – with constant information and articles, as well as helpful tips and assistance if you’ve been injured in an accident.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today! Sign Up Below!
Please use the form below to sign up for a free consultation with our law firm.
We thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your accident and aggressively pursue the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.
Call us today at (855) 435-7247 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation, you can also contact us by filling out the form below.
Once you’ve filled it out, and we’ve received it, we will make sure to reach out to you as soon as we possibly can. We look forward to hearing from you!
Please fill out the form below.