Winter Driving Safety Tips

Winter driving presents weather hazards unlike any other season. If you prepare properly and employ good driving practices, you will be able to drive safely during the winter and reduce your risk for a car accident.

Prepare Your Vehicle

It is important to prepare your vehicle before winter weather begins. The following list contains some car preparations for the winter weather:

  • Familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s winter driving features, like traction control or anti-lock brakes.
  • Test your battery, which can be affected by low temperatures.
  • Make sure your tires are winter ready. Check tire pressure and tread.
  • Fill wiper reservoirs with de-icing fluid. Replace wiper blades if necessary.
  • Keep the gas tank at least half full will reduce the risk of frozen gas lines.
  • Pack an emergency kit.

Plan Your Trip

Consider weather and road conditions before you leave. Postpone your trip if it seems unsafe to travel. If you must be on the roads, do not rush. Drive slowly in poor weather conditions. If you must drive through remote areas, inform someone about your planned route and planned arrival time.

Winter Driving Advice

The usual advice to use seatbelts, avoid distractions, obey speed limits, and drive sober applies all year long, but winter weather creates season-specific concerns. The following list contains some tips on how to properly drive in winter conditions:

  • Clear snow and ice: Remove snow and ice from your car, including your windows, mirrors, lights, and reflectors.
  • Avoid skids: Do not accelerate or decelerate suddenly.
  • Mind following distance: Increase your following distance between eight to 10 seconds.
  • Be careful on hills: Do not stop on a slippery hill or you risk sliding.
  • Mind bridges and overpasses: These surfaces freeze more quickly.
  • Use headlights for visibility: Headlights help you see and be seen.
  • Avoid using cruise control: You should remain in complete control of your vehicle in winter weather.
  • Do not pass road crews: Snowplows and sand trucks improve the road as they travel, it is best to stay behind these vehicles to ensure the roads are safe.
  • Steer into a skid: When losing traction, do not react by steering away or you risk having to overcorrect when traction returns.
  • Pull over during a whiteout: If you cannot see through a snowstorm, pull over to a safe place.

Stranded in Winter

If you become stranded due to car trouble or unsafe road conditions, there are a few things to remember:

  • Stay with your car: As long as you can pull over to a safe place, your car will protect you from the elements.
  • Beware of carbon monoxide: Stay warm by running the car’s heater for 10 minutes every hour, make sure the exhaust pipe is free of blockages and crack a window.
  • Do not overexert yourself: You may have to wait a while; it is important to conserve energy and remain calm in this situation.
  • Use flares or other markers: Try your best to be visible to other drivers and rescue crews.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Represent Injured Travelers

If you were injured in a car accident or injured while you were stuck in a winter storm, talk to one of your experienced lawyers today about your options; winter weather conditions make our roads extremely dangerous. Our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. will help you obtain compensation for your injuries. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation about your case. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we also serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.