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10 Tips for Driving Safely in Wintry Weather

winter driving with an SUV driving down a road in the snow

A Louisville Car Accident Lawyer Reveals What Drivers Should Know

Car accidents can happen at any time in Louisville or anywhere in Kentucky, but driving in wintry weather is always risky. Snow, sleet, and ice can make road conditions dangerous. Nationwide, there were 440 fatal crashes and roughly 33,000 injury crashes in 2019 during wintry conditions.

10 Safety Tips for Winter Driving

Being a safe and responsible driver and adjusting to conditions can go a long way toward protecting you out on the road. There are also several winter weather driving tips you can follow that can prepare your vehicle and yourself for winter driving.

Know what to do in an emergency

If your car is stuck during wintry weather, take steps to keep yourself and your passengers safe. Stay with the car as you wait for help. Use bright markers on the windows or antenna and keep the interior dome light on so you can be seen. Don’t overexert yourself. Run the engine long enough to keep warm.

Keep an eye on your tires

Check your tire pressure regularly, especially before long trips. Also look for any damage to the tread or sidewalls, such as cuts, cracks, or bulges. If you find any problems, have a professional look at them. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to replace tires.

Keep your child warm in car seats

Heavy winter coats can interfere with the seat harness. Instead, dress your child in thin, warm layers. Use blankets or coats to warm your child after the harness is secure. As always, make sure car seats and booster seats are properly installed and appropriate for your child’s age and size.

Check your battery

Battery power suffers in cold weather. Gas and diesel engines need more power to start and the driving range of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles goes down. Have your battery checked by a mechanic, as well as the charging system.

Know your vehicle’s safety features

Many vehicles are equipped with safety systems designed to help reduce the risk of a crash. But how do they perform in wintry weather? For example, antilock brake systems can prevent your wheels from locking up during braking. Learn how to use all vehicle safety systems.

Install winter floor mats carefully

Mats made for wintry weather do a better job of protecting your vehicle’s interior. But improperly installed, they can slide and interfere with the accelerator or brake pedal. Be sure they are made for your vehicle’s make and model and are properly installed with retention clips.

Check lights, wipers, and coolant

This includes headlights, turn signals, brake lights, flashers and all interior lights. Make sure your vehicle’s wiper fluid reservoir is filled with high-quality wiper fluid designed for the winter. Replace any worn wiper blades. Make sure there’s enough coolant in your vehicle.

Keep your vehicle stocked

There are some things you may need if you get stuck. These include a snow shovel, broom, scraper, sand or cat litter, jumper cables, a flashlight, flares, emergency markers, and blankets. Keep a charger in the vehicle for your phone. You may also want to put some water or unperishable food in the trunk.

Gas up or plugin

Keep your gas tank almost full as often as you can. If you have an electric or hybrid-electric vehicle, plug your vehicle in at night during the winter.

Plan ahead

Before heading out in wintry weather, check the forecast, road conditions, and traffic report. Be sure you know how to get where you’re going and when you can be expected.

Talk to a Louisville Car Accident Attorney About Your Rights

If you are involved in an accident, be sure to get legal advice from an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. The Whaley Law Firm understands the impact that injuries from a car crash can have on victims. We build strong cases that get results for our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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