Get Ready for Safe Winter Driving
For those who prefer the warm months, transitioning to early sunset and cold, wet, rainy weather is not the most welcome change. But as Atlanta residents know, eventually winter will be here and before it arrives in earnest, we should prepare. Putting the cover on the grill and closing up the pool, with our memories of spring and summer, we look to winter and holidays to keep our spirits lifted until the sun returns. As the weather cools and heavy winter rains, ice and wind arrive, there are risks for Atlanta motor vehicle accidents and injury. Now is the time to prepare and to get our vehicles ready for winter-weather driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is an excellent resource for winter driving preparation. NHTSA’s recommendations are very helpful and could keep you and your family protected and out of harm’s way this winter. One of their top suggestions is to get your car or cars serviced. When the weather is cold and your vehicle breaks down, you and your family could end up waiting on the roadside for help. Getting your vehicle checked out thoroughly could avoid this potentially dangerous situation.
Get a Check Up for Your Vehicles
When you take your car for winter check up it is important to use a reputable mechanic or your auto dealer to check major systems, such as your brakes, tires, battery, lights, hoses and other critical systems. Proper tire pressure is very important when driving on wet or icy roads. Have your tires inflated properly based on the manufacturers recommendations. Proper tread is also key to driving safety and avoiding serious injury should a crash occur. Take the penny test, turning it upside down and place it in the tire’s tread. Lincoln’s head should be mostly covered by your tire tread. If you can see President Lincoln’s head, you need to get to a tire shop or your dealer for new tires.
If you have safe tires, you have a better chance of safe winter driving. The consequence of tires with insufficient tread or under-inflation can be serious. For example, hydroplaning occurs when standing water or heavy downpours result in water on the road. Water gets under your tires and your tires no longer have traction on the road. This situation is worsened by under-inflated tires. So proper inflation is truly important. But inflation is not the only factor in driving safely on wet or icy roads. Keeping mindful of your speed is important too. If conditions warrant it, slow down to avoid hydroplaning and turn off your cruise control. Additionally, avoid tailgating and leave plenty of room in front of your vehicle. This will give you ample room to slow down or stop if conditions require that you do so.
Important Items to Keep in Your Vehicle
There are many items to keep in your vehicle during winter months and some that are good to bring along year-round. Should you break down, having some flares in your vehicle or reflective triangles that you can place on the road, will help let other vehicles know you are disabled. Keep a flashlight in your glove box and a thermal blanket or other blanket for every person in your vehicle. Always travel with a first aid kit in your vehicle. It is also wise to take some healthy granola or other bars with you. These are non-perishable and could help if you need to wait for assistance and you have your family with you. Take a bottle of water for each person in your vehicle in case you must wait for help.
Scholle Law wishes all our readers safe winter driving. If you need assistance after a metro Atlanta accident or injury, please contact our law firm. We provide free consultations and will evaluate your accident or injury. In most cases, we do not get paid until you get paid. We are here to help guide you through the legal and medical issues you may be facing.