In Texas, we can’t take winter driving for granted. The winter freeze we experienced at the beginning of the year proved that.
So what can you do to make you and your family safer on the road this winter? We have six simple ways.
#1: Take It Slow Before Bridges & Overpasses
Due to their design, bridges and overpasses freeze before streets and highways. Even if the roads seem fine, slow down before either one. Not only are bridges more likely to freeze, but sliding off a bridge is far more likely to result in a serious car accident.
#2: Leave Early
This one is the simplest ‘hack’ on our list. Winter weather means slower traffic and more congestion, so even short trips will take longer than usual. On top of that, icy conditions mean that your ‘normal speed’ is likely an unsafe speed. If you’re the kind of person who stresses about getting everywhere on time, leaving a few minutes earlier is a lot safer (and more effective) than speeding through winter weather.
#3: Double the Cushion Between You & Other Cars
Your braking distance is based on your braking speed in dry conditions. When things get foggy, icy, or just rainy, you need to double that braking distance. If you don’t, you run the risk of causing a fender bender or worse: an underride accident.
#4: Install New Tires
You might’ve gotten away with balding tires in summer or fall, but winter has a way of punishing procrastination. Low-tread tires puts your car at risk of slipping and sliding at the first sign of rain. Test your tread with a dime. If the treads on your tires don’t come halfway up, you should replace your tires or buy a set of winter tires.
A set of good tires might set you back a few hundred dollars, but that’s still less than what you’d lose in a serious crash.
#5: Pack a Winter Survival Kit for Your Car
If your car ever dies in the middle of a snowstorm, you need to a way to keep yourself alive until help arrives. A winter survival kit is an absolute must for that reason. Even if you never face life-threatening temperatures, you’ll be grateful for the extra comfort.
Here are a few things to include in your winter survival kit:
- An extra coat and blankets
- A candle inside a metal can (for heat without wasting fuel)
- Road flares
- LED flashlight
- Phone battery charger or car charger
- Notebook and pen (if phone is dead or broken)
- Fix-a-flat spray (two if you have an SUV)
- Jumper cables
#6: Lube Your Door Locks, Weather Stripping, & Window Tracks
If even a little water gets into your door seal, locks, or window tracks, you could find yourself stuck inside (or outside) your car. A little lube protects you from freezing water for the season. It’s a simple trick, but effective. When it comes to effort vs. benefit, this is probably the best tip on this list.
Winter driving is a little extra hazardous, but anyone can stay safe if they’re vigilant, careful, and well-prepared. The problem is that when other people aren’t safe, it can hurt you too. Our firm is committed to promoting safer driving habits, but we’re also committed to making sure people get what they need when they’ve been harmed by someone else.
Call us if you ever need help. Have a safe holiday!