Winter is nearly here, and with it, the threat of snowy weather and slick, hard-to-manage roads. If you don’t have a lot of experience driving on snowy roads, than any trip that you take this winter can be extremely difficult and those who are unprepared run a higher risk of causing or being involved in an accident. Fortunately, driving in the snow isn’t as hard as you might imagine, especially when you follow safe driving practices and only hit the road when you absolutely need to. Learn how to stay safe while driving through the snow this winter and make sure to consult a car accident lawyer in Winston-Salem after a snowy wreck.
Brake and Accelerate with Caution
When driving through the snow, the biggest risk is having your wheels lose traction and spin out, which usually results in you completely losing control of your vehicle. To make sure your wheels stay firmly on the road, always accelerate and brake very cautiously. Accelerating too aggressively or braking too suddenly increases the possibility of spinning wheels and a major accident.
Stay Away from Hills
A common sight when driving on snowy roads is seeing cars of all sorts struggling to make it up steep hills. Snow packed hills can prove insurmountable obstacles, and a good tip for driving safely through the snow is to avoid hills whenever possible. However, if you must drive on a steep road that is covered with snow, do not stop until you have crested the hill. Stopping in the middle of a snowy hill can mean getting your car hopelessly stuck.
As mentioned in the previous section, stopping on a snowy hill is never a good idea, and this extends to stopping in general on a road filled with snow. The more frequently you stop, the greater the risk that you won’t be able to start again, which means you might find yourself in a very dangerous situation, stuck in the cold and trying to figure out how to get your car going. On any journey you must take this winter, only stop if it is absolutely necessary, such as at a stop sign or stoplight. Reducing stops will make it much more likely that your snowy road trips will end successfully.
Avoid Long Trips
If you must travel when there is snow on the roads, try to make your trips as short as possible. Save all of your longest trips for when there is no snow and the roads are clear. For long trips that are unavoidable, plan ahead so that you take the most direct route. Minimizing your time on snowy roads will help you avoid a major accident this winter.
Keep Some Essentials in Your Car
Sometimes, even the most careful drivers can get stuck in snow or lose traction on ice. It is not uncommon for cars to need to get towed back onto the road after drifting into a snow bank in particularly snowy regions. Here are some items to keep in your car that could be invaluable if you find yourself stranded:
- Kitty litter – it may sound strange, but this absorbs snow under your tires and helps create traction if you’re struggling to get a good grip on the road
- Water bottles and snacks – it’s good to keep these in you car no matter the weather, but especially in cold conditions, in case you get stranded
- Car battery jumpstart kit – a battery jumpstart kit comes in handy if your battery dies and there are no other cars around to give you a traditional jump using jumper cables
- Extra coats and blankets – if your car dies, you’ll need these extra layers to stay warm while you wait for assistance
These items can not only be invaluable in a cold weather crisis, but they can also help bring you peace of mind on the road.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Winston-Salem
Even if you follow safe driving practices, there is no guarantee that other drivers on the road have the same commitment, which means you might end up being involved in a traumatic car accident. To get the legal help you need after a wreck, hire a car accident lawyer in Winston-Salem. The Lewis & Keller team has decades of experience fighting for the rights of those injured in North Carolina. Contact us online or call 336-804-8387 for a free case evaluation.