Since accidents can happen even in good weather, it’s not surprising that we have to try extra hard to avoid them during winter’s heavy rains, sleet, snow, and ice. Fortunately, we can make a number of good choices that can decrease our chances of getting into an accident – or that will at least keep us safe and warm while handling one should it occur.
If you’re been seriously injured in a car accident, you need the help of an experienced Fort Worth auto accident attorney. Tom Hall is board certified in personal injury trial law and has been handling cases like yours for over 25 years. You can contact the Fort Worth Law Offices of Tom Hall by calling 1-817-831-6100 today. Ask to schedule your FREE consultation.
In an effort to help you and your loved ones stay as safe as possible while driving during the winter months, our firm has put together the following list of safety tips, drawn mainly from an AAA website and other resources.
Useful Tips for Staying Safe While Driving in Winter Weather
- Proper vehicle maintenance is critical. Don’t even think about driving across town – or across the country – without first having a top mechanic look over your car. Make sure that your tires have thick treads and are properly balanced and inflated. Also, be sure your battery is fully charged and your wiper blades are in excellent condition;
- Never run low on gas. Keep in mind that when temperatures drop extremely low, having less than a half-tank of gas can increase the chances of your gas line freezing-up;
- Always keep your eyes on the road, both hands on the wheel – and never use cruise control on slippery surfaces. Far too many accidents take place while people are searching for items in their cars -- or interacting with another person or their GPS;
- Don’t forget the basics – keep your seatbelt fastened and yield the right of way when in difficult circumstances. The minimal amount of added driving time this may require can easily wind up saving your life;
- Remember that special skills are needed while driving in snow. Among other tips, allow much more space between you and the car traveling in front of you. (See the special section devoted to “driving in the snow” on this page);
- If you become stuck in the snow far from home, it’s usually best to stay in your car. Far too many winter news headlines tell how one person left loved ones in a vehicle while going out to search for help – only to have those in the vehicle become the only survivors;
- Only drive when you’re well rested. Your state of mind and physical health can play key roles in your ability to cope should an accident actually unfold;
- Pack the right gear for your car. Give serious thought to putting chains on your tires if the weather requires it – or at least pack them in your trunk. You should also carry: a properly inflated spare tire; sand/kitty litter that can provide your tires with added traction if you get stuck in the snow or mud; a shovel, traffic flares, jumper cables, and at least two working flashlights (along with spare batteries for them). You should also carry one of the hammer-like devices sold in most auto stores. It can help you break out a window if your vehicle becomes dangerously submerged in snow or water due to an accident;
- Food and first-aid needs. When you’re traveling out of town (or in snowy parts of the country), always carry non-perishable, easy-to-open food, along with plenty of water in your car’s interior (in proper containers). It’s a good idea to include such food items as beef jerky and dried fruits. Also, ask your auto mechanic or auto parts store employee to show you their best winter travel first aid kits and buy the best one you can afford;
- Dress warm and have some dry, back-up clothing in your vehicle. Besides wearing a heavy coat, warm gloves and a hat, be sure you have back-up wear for every passenger, as well as yourself. If you get stuck in the snow, you’ll be very glad you did this. Also consider packing a rain poncho and one or two umbrellas. If it’s raining and you’ve got a flat tire, you’ll be glad to have these so someone can try and keep you dry while you change your tire. Also, consider packing one or more government-issued blankets sold at army-navy surplus stores since they can really help keep you warm;
- Sign up for dependable towing and road service. Although these services may be slower in reaching you when numerous vehicles are in trouble, you’ll be glad you’ve done this since it can save you valuable time, money, and lengthy discomfort;
- Obey all of the posted traffic signs and warnings. Never speed, regardless of how eager you are to reach your destination. Also, avoid applying your brakes too quickly and never tailgate since stopping suddenly often leads to skidding accidents. Finally, stick to the main roads. It may be more scenic to choose a unique path to your destination – but if you get stranded, it can take rescue teams much longer to find you.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a vehicle accident, call the Fort Worth Law Offices of personal injury attorney Tom Hall. He is board-certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has been defending clients like you for over 25 years. You can reach him now by calling: 1-817-831-6100. Ask to schedule your FREE consultation.