Winter Driving: Tips in the Snow & Ice
Living in Northeastern Pennsylvania we are no strangers to winter storms. Winter driving conditions like snow and ice dramatically affect one’s driving behaviors. For example, a driver’s ability to stop smoothly and safely can be severely limited because of reduced tire traction.
Three key factors to remember when driving in hazardous winter conditions:
- Stay alert
- Slow down
- Stay in control
It’s best to make sure that your vehicle is serviced and ready for winter driving conditions before the winter season begins. Scheduling a maintenance check-up to ensure that your vehicle’s tire pressure, battery, belts/hoses, radiator, oil, lights, brakes, exhaust system, heater/defroster, windshield wipers, and ignition system are all sufficient. Here is another tip: keep your gas tank as full as possible, at least half a tank is recommended.
Here are some safe driving tips to know when driving in the snow/ice:
- Get the feel of the road by starting out slowly and testing your steering control and braking ability. Avoid spinning your tires when you start by gently pressing your gas pedal until the car starts to roll. Start slowing down at least three times sooner than you normally would when turning or stopping.
- Keep chains, a small shovel, and kitty litter for traction in your trunk in case you get stuck in snow or ice.
- Switch out your tires to winter tires or all season tires.
- Reduce your speed to correspond with conditions.
- When stopping, avoid sudden movements of the steering wheel and pump the brakes gently. Avoid locking the brakes on glazed ice because it may cause a loss of steering and control.
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FDA), snow and ice account for:
- 24% of all weather-related vehicle crashes
- 15% of vehicle crashes during snowfall or sleet
- Over 1,300 people are killed annually in such crashes
- More than 116,800 people are injured annually in such crashes
Even if you were doing your best to drive with caution in snow or ice, crashes do happen. While these tips cannot guarantee you will not be involved in a crash, they can reduce your risks significantly. If you are injured while driving, regardless of the weather, contact our team of attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.