The winter season is nearly here and families across Mississippi are looking forward to celebrating the holidays and spending quality time with loved ones. While the Magnolia State is known for hot and humid summers, the reality is that weather conditions can change quickly. In fact, freezing temperatures, rain, sleet, and snow are not uncommon during the winter months.
Knowing how to handle your vehicle while driving in these conditions can help you, your family, and everyone else on the road stay safe. Our team provides some safe driving tips below.
How Winter Conditions Impact Safety
Statistics from the Department of Transportation (DOT) reveal that weather is a contributing factor in about 21% of all annual car crashes in the U.S. The most dangerous adverse weather conditions are rain, snow/sleet, icy pavements, slushy pavements, and fog. The most common ways that winter conditions impact your safety include the following:
Hindered visibility of road conditions and the vehicles around you
Reduced traction due to slippery or icy roads
Risk of hydroplaning in standing water
Black ice on the road, which is invisible to the naked eye
Vehicle impacts, including lower battery performance, deflated tires, and thick engine oil
How to Drive Cautiously in Adverse Weather
Ensure Your Vehicle Is Maintained. Before the winter weather kicks in or before heading out on a long-distance trip, keep up with regular vehicle maintenance to ensure your vehicle is operating as it should. This includes oil changes and brake inspections.
Prep Your Vehicle Beforehand. In addition to proper maintenance, you will want to make sure your vehicle is adequately prepared for winter conditions with winter wipers, antifreeze fluid, tire chains, and a functioning heater.
Reduce Your Speed and Increase Your Buffer. Due to hindered visibility and reduced traction, your vehicle may require more time to completely stop when you brake. Give yourself more room and time to stop by reducing your speed and increasing the distance between your vehicle and those around you.
Check Conditions Before Driving. Always check on your local weather app to see what weather conditions you may face on the road. This way, you can plan to adjust your driving habits ahead of time or avoid driving during inclement weather.
Keep an Emergency Kit With You. In the event your vehicle breaks down, you get into a car accident, or otherwise are put in an emergency situation it’s a good idea to keep a comprehensive emergency kit in your vehicle that includes a first aid kit, jumper cables, flashlight and extra batteries, water bottles, blankets, and nonperishable foods.
All of us at Vollor Law Firm, P.A. hope that these tips prepare you for any adverse weather conditions in the coming months. Should you or a loved one be injured in an accident this winter due to another negligent or reckless driver, know that we are here to stand in your corner and pursue the justice and maximum compensation that you deserve.
Contact our Northern Mississippi lawyers at (662) 269-6188 for a free consultation.