Safety Tips for Winter Driving
With the winter weather upon us, I wanted to share a few safety tips for winter driving that I received from our colleagues and friends at Robson Forensic. The following tips were shared with us by the head of the Automotive Group at Robson Forensic, Peter J. Leiss.
Top Safety Tips for Winter Driving Conditions
Tire Placement – Ensure that your tires with the most tread are on the rear wheels. We occasionally get pushback on this topic from “car guys”, but the fact of the matter is that if you lose traction, you are less likely to enter an uncontrollable spin if your best tires are on the rear.
Tire Inflation – As the ambient air temperature drops, so does the air pressure in your tires. Check your tire pressure, it is likely that you’ll need to add air.
Air Conditioning – Ensure that your A/C unit is charged, when most cars are set to defrost mode, the A/C unit will work to dry the air in the cabin and reduce fogging of the windows.
Clean the Snow Off Your Car – It’s important to clean not only your windows, but also your headlights, hood, and roof. This practice will not only improve your visibility, but will also help to prevent snow and ice from your car blowing onto other motorists.
Turn On Your Headlights – Not only to improve your visibility, also to make it easier for other drivers to see you.
Be a Smooth Operator – Avoid sudden applications of the throttle, brakes, or steering. Sudden applications of these primary vehicle controls can lead to a loss of traction and control.
Don’t Tailgate – Tension is already high amongst motorists in foul weather, in lower traction conditions it will take longer to make evasive maneuvers.
Check Your Gauges – Snow and ice may build up on the front of your car, blocking air flow to your cooling system, which has the potential to cause your engine to overheat.
Ride in the Tracks of the Vehicles Ahead of You – Unless those tracks have turned to ice, riding in the tracks is likely to provide better traction. Some of the snow and slush in the tracks has been dispersed, allowing your tires to make contact with the road surface. If the tracks have formed compacted ice, you may find better grip on fresh snow.
You Can Turn or Stop in Snow, but not Both – In many snowy conditions there is enough traction to turn or stop, but trying to do both at once will often force the vehicle into a slide. If you find yourself sliding towards an obstacle, it may be help to release the brakes and steer around it.
Reduce Your Speed – By reducing your speed you can increase the amount of time available for evasive maneuvers.
Getting Unstuck – If you do get stuck in the snow, it may be helpful to turn-off your traction control system. In some scenarios, the additional wheel spin will help to dig through the snow, allowing your tires to make contact with the asphalt and gain traction.
I hope that you and yours stay safe on the roads all winter long!
We're Here if You Need Us
Sadly, truck and auto accidents are very much a part of winter travel and traffic. If you or a loved one are injured in a motor vehicle or truck accident over the winter months, please contact me directly on 877-936-7200 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise that I will put all of my firm's energy and resources into your fight for justice.