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Tips for Safe Winter Driving

Weather has been a big news topic this month, after large parts of the country got pummeled by severe and intense winter storms. In Texas, an uncharacteristic cold storm killed 26 people, caused pipes to burst and left millions of people without water or power. 

With the expectation that the United States will continue to see extreme weather events in the future, due to the effects of climate change, it’s important that we all learn to adapt and take appropriate precautions to help keep us safe when the unexpected happens. 

One important situation that you want to make sure you’re prepared for, is what you’ll do if your car breaks down during dangerous winter weather conditions. You do not want to be stuck on the side of the road without options during a storm. 

AAA has offered a number of helpful tips that can keep you safe when you’re on the road and the weather is bad. 

Cold Weather Driving Tips

  • Make sure that you keep your vehicle well stocked with supplies just in case your car breaks down. Keep cold weather gear like warm clothing and blankets, food and water, and emergency supplies like a flashlight, jumper cables, a shovel and kitty litter or sand, just in case you need extra traction.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated and in good shape. When the road is slick, you want to make sure that your tires are solid.
  • Be sure to keep at least a half tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times during the winter. You don’t want to run out of gas right when you need it the most.
  • Don’t use cruise control when the roads are slick and icy. Conditions can change quickly, and that means your vehicle’s speed needs to adjust quickly. You should always be traveling at a speed that is appropriate to the road conditions that you find yourself in.
  • Don’t go out unless you absolutely have to. You can’t get stuck out in the cold when you’re safe and warm in your house. 
  • Make sure you leave extra distance between your vehicle and the other vehicles on the road. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of room if you have to break quickly.
  • Make sure you’re familiar with how your brakes behave. Breaks can respond differently in different vehicles in different weather conditions, and you’ll want to know what to expect as far as how your vehicle will respond at any one point in time.
  • Be careful going up hills. You don’t want to apply too much gas in order to try and power up the hill, as that will increase the chance that you’ll make your wheels spin.  And once you’re headed up the hill, don’t stop until you get all the way to the top, so that you don’t run the risk of losing your momentum.
  • Make sure that you’re speeding up and slowing down in a way that’s appropriate for the road conditions you find yourself in. Speed up slowly, and remember it’s going to take longer to slow down. And whenever possible, try and avoid stopping if you don’t need to.
  • Give yourself extra time to get where you’re headed. Travel just takes longer when the weather is bad, and you don’t want to feel like you’re rushing when the roads are dangerous. 

With a little careful preparation, you can help ensure the safety of you and your family, and avoid a cold, potentially life endangering wait for someone to come and help you.

Related Reading: Which States Have the Highest Number of DUI Arrests?

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Greg Green of the Green Law Firm, P.C. in Colorado SpringsHave you or a loved one been injured by the negligent actions of a driver? Are you concerned you won’t have the money to pay medical bills and lost expenses? If so, you need an experienced Colorado Springs attorney on your side to help you fight for justice.

Contact the dedicated attorneys at the Green Law Firm, P.C. today by calling (719) 694-8515, or by filling out the contact form on this page, to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and discuss your case.