Big Al’s Winter Driving Tips
As the holiday season approaches, so does the looming threat of snow. Snow, for all its fun qualities and potential for play, can be a real threat to drivers on the road. Hazardous conditions like black ice and impaired visibility due to snowfall increase the chance of injury on the road. Luckily, Attorney Big Al has a ton of experience dealing with vehicle crash litigation, enough to become something of an expert on winter driving. His hometown might be in Florida, but Attorney Big Al is from Canada, so he’s no stranger to cold weather! Today’s blog post will give you the best tips from a seasoned pro at winter driving.
Practice garage safety.
Cold weather safety starts at home! Don’t idle your car to warm it up in an enclosed space, like a garage. Idling your car wastes gas and harms the environment, but if you need to warm your car up, be sure to move your car out to the street. It is never safe to let your car idle in your garage, even with the garage door open.
Maintain your gas levels.
Don’t let your car’s gas level drop to below 50% full. More gas in your tank makes it less likely that your gas will freeze, so keep it at 50% at the lowest.
Avoid using your parking brake.
In cold weather, applying your parking brake can actually make it less likely that your car will hit the road again. The mechanism may freeze in the locked position, preventing you from moving safely.
Of course, if you’re parking on a hill or other steep area, you can use it, but be careful of the weather!
Check the weather ahead of time.
If you’re going on a long car ride, it’s always a good idea to check the weather along your route. It may be sunny and cloudless where you live, but weather conditions vary wildly. It could be preparing to snow heavily an hour away. Don’t risk it!
Attorney Big Al suggests checking the current weather at multiple points along your route, both to check the current conditions and the projected ones.
Don’t leave home without outerwear.
It may be tempting to forego a coat and boots if you’re driving from your garage to another covered garage. Coats are bulky, and it might feel silly to bring it if you don’t plan on wearing it.
However, if you leave home without a coat and your vehicle breaks down, you could find yourself stranded on a cold highway with no coat or proper shoes.
Feel free to leave your coat in your car, but don’t leave home without one!
Stay near your vehicle if you become snow-bound.
If your car breaks down in a severe weather situation, it’s important not to leave your vehicle and try to walk for help. Even along major highways, it’s possible to get lost, disoriented, and hypothermic if you walk in severe weather.
Stay near your car and use it as shelter as you wait for help to arrive.
Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
Reaction times decrease in snowy conditions, and your vehicle is even less likely to react quickly when there’s snow and ice on the ground. Accelerating and decelerating slowly prevents your car from skidding and losing control.
Not doing this can result in a crash, traumatic brain injury, and vehicular damage. Also, avoid using your cruise control in icy situations. Focusing on driving can prevent your brakes from locking.
Increase your following distance.
The normally recommended following distance in dry weather is three to four seconds, but in snowy weather that just won’t cut it. Be sure to leave eight to ten seconds between you and the car in front of you to ensure proper braking time.
Know your rights!
If you’re injured in a vehicle crash, call Attorney Big Al! A simple call to 1-800-HURT-123 can earn you the reparation money you deserve. If you’re injured in a car crash, stay near the vehicle, take photos, call a doctor if you need medical attention, and then call Attorney Big Al for help!