Kansas City Townsend Law Firm

7 Winter Driving Safety Tips

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2018 | Car Accident

The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer, while the temperature is dropping. For people who are going to take to the roads this fall and winter, staying safe is important. You still have to follow basic traffic safety laws. However, the weather adds another element of danger during these months. Safe driving during the winter months is possible, and following winter driving tips and being extra cautious during winter weather can help ensure you are safe in winter road conditions.

Make sure that you always wear your seat belt and that children have appropriate safety seats. These can protect you in the event of a crash, so never think that they aren’t important. On top of this, follow these safety tips:

1. Pack an emergency kit

This should include the basics that you will need if you break down or get into an accident. A flashlight, a shovel, an ice scraper, blankets, flares or warning devices, sand or kitty litter, and jumper cables are suitable for short trips. You should add water and food to the kit. Additionally, make sure that you have your phone and any necessary medications for all trips.

2. Give yourself time

Trying to rush when the roads are slick is a recipe for disaster. Instead of waiting until the last minute to head out the door, try to leave a little earlier. This allows you time to drive slowly while you pay close attention to what is going on around you. Giving yourself plenty of time to navigate icy roads, follow speed limits will allow for safe driving in adverse driving conditions.

3. Focus on the road

One thing that you must remember during the colder weather is that frost, ice and snow on the roads can lead to longer stopping times. Steering problems can also occur. There is a chance that you will skid when you stop. You should turn your car’s steering wheel so that you move in the direction of the skid to help you regain control, and allow anti-lock brake systems to do their job to slow you down in poor weather conditions.

4. Plan for problems

Know what to do if you are ever stalled or stopped. If it is safe to do so, remain in your vehicle. This gives you an extra layer of protection between you and other vehicles in the area. Only start your car as needed to take the chill out of the air. Don’t do anything that is going to run down the battery, such as shining the dome lights or playing the radio when the car isn’t on. Additionally, make sure that you dig out the tailpipe so it isn’t blocked by snow before you run the engine. A tailpipe that is covered in snow can cause deadly exhaust to back up into your vehicle.

5. Properly maintain your vehicle

Ensuring that your vehicle is ready for winter by checking tire pressure, antifreeze/coolant levels, your windshield wipers work, your wiper blades are fresh and windshield washer fluid level is full. Check your anti-lock brake system is active, your defroster is working, and check other system levels are proper after your vehicle does its warm up.

6. Equipping your vehicle

Installing snow tires or winter tires, upgrading your headlights, fog lights or other lighting, or adding a remote start, can all make your time on the road that much safer.

7. Be alert

During bad weather conditions snow plows will come out on snowy roads to keep the snow build up off the road, so stay off your cell phone and watch out black ice as your travel plans can be interrupted quickly if you skid out on icy roads during a snowstorm.

If you are involved in a car crash in Missouri, contact the police and get medical care if necessary. You might then decide to seek compensation for the damages.