Preparing for Winter Driving 2023

Winter can be troublesome for even the most capable drivers, as external elements like icy roads and poor visibility become a factor during the daily commute. Your job as a driver is to drive safely, and doing so without preparations isn’t easy, as safety hazards increase exponentially during this time of the year. 

It’s a common mistake to ignore the negative impact caused by bad weather. That’s why you should do everything in your power to protect yourself and your passengers. Our car accident lawyers have compiled a list of useful tips that can help you prevent accidents and keep your loved ones safe. 

Drive With Caution

It’s a good idea to always exercise caution behind the wheel, but this rule is even more important when you’re driving in dangerous weather conditions. Slowing down and avoiding maneuvers that could cause you to lose control of the vehicle, such as braking quickly or suddenly turning, makes a big difference. 

Don’t forget that stopping times considerably increase during the winter, which is why you should keep your distance from vehicles around you and in front of you. Giving ample space while being aware of your surroundings is the first rule of defensive driving and one that could save your life when snow is affecting everyone’s visibility and focus. 

Maintain Your Vehicle

Proper maintenance can go a long way in stopping a disaster caused by unpredictable and extreme winter weather. Make sure your car is equipped with seasonal tires for better traction, your windshield wipers function correctly,  and that you have everything you need to keep your vehicle’s performance as stable as possible. 

Never travel without an extra supply of motor oil and windshield fluid. Antifreeze can also protect you in the worst-case scenario so that your chances of getting stranded for an extended amount of time are lower. It’s also best to test your battery, as you wouldn’t want to find yourself stuck and waiting for help in sub-zero temperatures.  

Carry an Emergency Kit

Unfortunately, you can’t always predict what’s going to happen. Even if you’re on your best behavior while driving, accidents could still happen. All it takes is a single moment of distraction to find yourself off the road during the winter. That’s why you should always carry an emergency kit that can be quickly accessed under all circumstances. 

There’s no need to fill your car with items you may not get the chance to use. Small and essential objects like a portable phone charger, blankets, batteries, and a flashlight are often all you need. You also shouldn’t underestimate the importance of a first aid kit, as it could help you administer the treatment needed to survive long enough to be rescued. 

Avoid Using Cruise Control

It’s a bad idea to utilize cruise control for winter driving, as it leaves you unable to react quickly with the brake pedal in case you need to slow down or stop. 

When using cruise control, your vehicle will try to keep a consistent speed without taking road conditions into consideration. This mechanism can make you lose control of your vehicle when snow and ice are affecting traction.

Be Prepared to Handle a Skid

If your vehicle begins to skid, you need to stay calm. Panicking while slamming your foot on the pedal is a recipe for disaster and one you don’t want to find yourself into. It happens to most drivers during harsh weather conditions, and it’s perfectly manageable if you follow the right steps. 

Take your foot off the gas pedal, as increasing speed will cause the skid to become worse, and start steering in the direction of the skid gradually. It’s important to avoid oversteering, or your vehicle will spin out of control. Once you’ve regained control, steer again, but this time in the desired direction. Avoid sudden movements so it doesn’t happen again. 

Seek Out an Attorney After a Winter Driving Accident

Winter driving can be a dangerous experience. Preparations can reduce the risk of injuries and accidents, but it’s impossible to predict everyone’s behavior while on the road. If a negligent driver left you severely injured, you may be entitled to compensation for all damages. You can take action by speaking with a reliable personal injury lawyer who can help you file a claim. 

Don’t wait to get the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced injury attorney with Craig Swapp & Associates, simply call 1-800-404-9000 or complete the contact form at the bottom of this page.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp