The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicted a much colder and snowier winter than usual for Lexington, Kentucky, and mid-way through the season, we can see that temperatures and conditions have done their part to live up to the forecast. Winter weather often brings dangerous driving conditions, so follow these winter driving safety tips to help avoid a serious car accident on icy, wet or slippery roads.
- SLOW DOWN.
- Always wear your seat belt and make sure your passengers are properly belted.
- Leave extra distance between your vehicle and the traffic ahead. Try to avoid sudden acceleration or deceleration. Giving yourself extra space gives you extra time to react and slow down safely on icy roads.
- When the weather is bad, avoid distractions such as playing with the radio and instrumentation panel or excessive talking with passengers. Concentrating on the road is especially important in poor conditions.
- Keep emergency winter supplies in the back seat or trunk. Valuable supplies include: blankets; extra clothing such as hats, gloves and rain boots; energy bars or other high-energy, non-perishable food; a flashlight with spare batteries (keep batteries outside the flashlight and inside the cabin to help them stay fresh); road flares or reflectors; a first aid kit; and a cell phone with a car charger or other backup power source. Even an old cell phone without an active service plan is capable of making a 911 call, but you still need to be able to charge it first.
- Make sure you know proper winter driving techniques, like how to drive on ice (slowly) & how to pull out of a skid (steer into the skid). Do you tap your brakes or apply firm pressure to stop on icy roads? Consult your vehicle owner’s manual for proper driving techniques, appropriate tire pressure, etc.
- Adding weight to the trunk of your car can make the vehicle easier to control on icy roads. A bag of sand adds weight and can also be scattered on the road to give you traction if you get stuck.
- Check present and forecasted road conditions before starting a trip.
- Leave early for an appointment so you can drive safely and slowly without worry.
- Cruise control is generally not recommended on icy, wet or slippery roads.
- While you are scraping or defrosting your windshield, don’t forget all the other windows as well. Also, knock excessive snow off the hood or roof your car, so that it doesn’t come loose and obstruct your vision while driving or fall on the road and create a hazard for other drivers.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full. This will help keep your gas line from freezing up and also help keep you from running out of gas if you get struck in traffic or on the side of the road.
- If warming up your car in the garage, make sure the garage door is open to prevent a buildup of carbon monoxide and dangerous exhaust.
- Avoid unnecessary trips.
Of course, all the care in the world can’t always keep you safe from other drivers who drive carelessly, recklessly or aggressively without regard to hazardous road conditions. If you are hurt in a car crash caused by another’s negligence or misconduct, contact an experienced auto accident attorney for help. In Lexington, call Todd Burris PSC at 895-252-2222 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.