For people all around the country, February proved to be the coldest leg of winter so far. Mountains that have not seen snow in a while have recently been white-capped with snow of their own. Streets throughout cities have been coated with patches of ice, especially in the morning. If the unexpected cold snap has caught you off guard, then it is safe to say it has done the same for many others.
If you are planning a trip to a snowy region soon, or if you are noticing ice on the roads around your town, it is time to review some safe driving tips for snow and ice that every driver should know. If you have already been in a car accident that you think was related to the wintry weather, call (304) 605-2040 to connect with Berthold Law Firm, PLLC and our Charleston personal injury lawyers. We can use our 70+ years of combined legal experience to help determine liability in your snow and ice car accident and pursue maximized compensation on your behalf.
Basic Driving Tips for Wintry Conditions
- Slow down: The easiest tip to follow is possibly the most effective: decrease your speed to a safe limit. When there is snow or ice on the road, posted speed limits are too high. Consider reducing your speed by 10 or 15 miles per hour, or to whatever feels safest given the weather and traffic conditions.
- Equip tire chains: If you know you are going to go somewhere that recently has seen snowfall, invest in a good set of tire chains. Know how to use them before you head out on the road.
- Warm up outside: When you are warming up your vehicle before a cold drive, make certain you are outside or in a well-ventilated structure. Exhaust emissions can become incredibly dangerous when confined to a closed space.
- Fill up your gas: When a gas tank is about halfway empty, or even emptier, ice can collect during the coldest hours of the night. Try to keep your gas tank full to avoid this issue. If there is a gas station near your home, you may want to visit each night until the weather warms up.
- Turn off cruise control: Placing your car in cruise control is a bad idea whenever there is snow, ice, or another slick substance on the road. The vehicle will try to maintain your speed, no matter what, and could throw itself out of control upon hitting a slippery patch.
- Deliberate steering during a slide: In case you do start to slide out of control due to hitting a patch of ice or snow, take your foot off the gas and the brake. In deliberate motions, turn your steering wheel towards the direction you want to go.
- Charge your phone: We also recommend you charge your cellphone before heading out on any icy or snowy trail. It is probably your best bet for getting help in case of an accident. Keep it in your pocket but remember not to use it while driving.