While the Sunshine State enjoys a temperate year round climate, our neighbors to the north do not. Over the holidays, many of us will make out of state trips to visit loved ones and friends, and may find ourselves driving in winter conditions we are not accustomed to experiencing. Hazardous winter road conditions are a leading cause of car crashes and collisions, and these accidents can lead to severe and life-threatening injuries. If you will be traveling over the holiday season, check out our winter driving safety tips in order to ensure both you and your loved ones stay safe.
Winter Driving Safety Tips
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, of the nearly six million car accidents that occur each year throughout the country, roughly a quarter of these accidents are weather-related. Conditions such as rain, snow, ice and slush can have a tremendous impact on a driver’s visibility, as well as their ability to control their vehicle on the road. To avoid accidents and the serious injuries that can result, the National Traffic Safety (NTS) Institute recommends drivers follow these winter driving safety tips:
- Be sure and plan your route ahead of time, and let others know the route you are traveling and when you expect to arrive at your destination;
- Dress warmly, in comfortable clothes that will not restrict your movements;
- Never allow your car to heat up in a closed area, which could result in dangerous levels of carbon monoxide;
- Be sure to remove all snow and ice from windshields and windows, as well as from your rearviews mirrors and head, tail, and brake lights;
- Make sure your windshield wipers are in good order, and that you have plenty of washer fluid that is rated for freezing temperature. Visibility is crucial when driving in hazardous conditions;
- On icy or snow-covered roads, go slow, and give other drivers plenty of room;
- Avoid slamming on your brakes, and do not pump anti-lock brakes;
- Be careful and go slowly on turns to avoid skidding;
- Be aware that bridges and overpasses freeze before other roadways. Use extra caution when going over these; and
- If you get stuck or stranded, wait inside your vehicle until help arrives.
In winter weather it is always good to have a car survival kit ready if you need it. The NTS recommends assembling a kit that contains a flashlight, ice scraper, booster cables, first aid kit, and extra winter clothing and boots. In addition, keep some granola bars or other snacks in your kit, along with bottled water and a blanket just in case you get stuck, and always make sure your cell phone is fully charged before making any trip.
We Can Help You
If you or a loved one suffers injuries as the result of a car accident, contact our experienced Florida car and truck accident attorneys. At Hogan Frick, we may be able to assist you in getting compensation for the injuries you have suffered, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Reach out to us today for help.