As we enter the winter, it is always best to be prepared for the unexpected, especially when on you are on the road. Severe weather and winter storms can create dangerous driving conditions, leading to an increased risk of getting into an accident. As a personal injury law firm located up in snowy Salt Lake City, we understand more than most the importance of being safe and prepared for the winter. Here, we will be detailing the essential items that you should keep in your car this winter, as well as offering some tips on how you can drive as safely as possible in this cold weather.
What Should I Have In My Car?
The best thing you can do in the winter months is to be prepared for the unknown, that being said, you should consider having the following items in your car this cold season:
Blankets and Warm Clothing
You should always consider keeping blankets and some warm or thermal clothing in your car. If you end up stranded in a snowstorm, or if your car can’t start, these items can be vital in keeping you warm and fighting off the cold weather.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit should be a mainstay in your car regardless of the season. However, accidents and injuries tend to happen more often in these slick weather conditions. A well stocked first aid kit can be essential to helping you address minor injuries immediately, and prevent infection or worsening wounds.
Non Perishable Food and Water
In the chance that you get stuck in a blizzard, storing non-perishable snacks and water in your car can be crucial to your safety. If you are stuck in your car for extended periods of time, having an energy bar and a bottle of water on hand can help keep you going.
Ice Scraper and Snow Brush
During the winter visibility is key, especially in a snow storm. Having an ice scraper and a snow brush stocked in your car will help you keep your windshield and windows clear. This will allow you to have clear lines of sight and visibility during the inclement weather.
The freezing weather can affect your car’s battery as well, and it can lead to your battery being drained or dead. Having jumper cables on hand can help you and other drivers out in a pinch, and can get your vehicle up and running again.
Keeping a small shovel in your car can help you dig your car out of the snow and clear a path for you if you end up getting stuck.
Safe Driving Tips for Winter Weather
Having the essentials in your car is great in case of an emergency, but it is best to try and avoid an emergency if possible. Here are some tips that you can follow to stay safe while driving in the cold weather.
Driving in a snowstorm is full of unnecessary risks, if possible, only drive when it is absolutely necessary. If you can, work from home or take alternative modes of transportation.
Slow Down and Increase Your Following Distance
Slippery roads means that your car’s reaction time is much slower. This means it is crucial that you drive at reduced speeds to maintain control of your vehicle and to avoid slipping into another lane of traffic. In this weather you should also increase the distance between you and the car that you are driving behind. In the snow, it can take much longer to slow down and stop. Try to keep a five to six second following distance of the car in front of you to ensure that you have adequate time to stop.
Avoid Sudden Maneuvers, and Maintain Speed on Hills
With snow and ice on the road, sudden stops or turns can be much more detrimental as it can lead your car to slide, which can cause an accident. To help avoid this make gentle and slow movements while you drive to stay in control of your vehicle. In the snow it is also vital that you maintain your speed and do not slow down when you are going up a hill. Slowing down while driving up a hill can lead to a greater likelihood of you losing traction and sliding back down the hill and into traffic.
Reduced visibility is very common in the winter, using your headlights does not only illuminate the road, but it can also help you to be seen by other drivers.
Regular Vehicle Maintenance
Always make sure that your car is winter ready. Check your battery and make sure it is fully charged, make sure your tire tread is not bald, and that you have antifreeze in your vehicle.
Know Your Brakes
Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop your car on rough terrain is with threshold braking. You can do this by keeping the heel of your foot on the floor and using the ball of your foot to apply firm and steady pressure on the brake pedal.
Being prepared with the right supplies and knowledge of how to drive in the winter weather can greatly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries in the cold months of the year. As your Salt Lake City personal injury attorneys, we have seen the consequences of being unprepared in severe weather. Always remember to stay safe and be prepared for the worst conditions, and if you are in an accident to contact LifeLaw Personal Injury. At LifeLaw our team of the best car accident lawyers value your life and wellbeing, and we will fight for the compensation you deserve. Let our team of experts focus on your case while you focus on what is really important, your recovery. If you or someone you know has been injured, contact LifeLaw Personal Injury today for a free consultation!