Snow and ice are a dangerous combination for drivers. According to news reports, at least 477 were killed due to icy roads alone during 2008-2009 winter seasons. In the following two years, 2009-2010, 458 died. Also, based on a report by the Federal Highway Administration, more than 5,870,000 automobile crashes are recorded each year. Of those, almost 1,312,000 are weather-related or happened during adverse weather conditions. Every year, around 6,250 people are killed due to weather-related crashes. Of those, 17% happen during snow or sleet, while 12% occurred on icy pavement and 14% happened on snowy or slushy pavement.
Ideally, we shouldn’t drive on ice or snow. It’s hard to control your vehicle. However, there are times when you have to drive. If you must drive in snowy or icy weather, please take note of these safety tips:
- Get plenty of rest before driving. Winter driving can be challenging, so you don’t want to do it when you’re exhausted.
- Make sure that your car is prepared. You want your tires to be properly inflated, and your gas tank at least half full.
- Don’t forget to wear your seat belt.
- Do not use cruise control when driving on a slippery surface.
- Drive slow so you won’t have to brake hard. This will help avoid skidding. When you’re driving slowly, you’re allowing yourself more time to anticipate issues and decide how to handle them. It also helps to avoid tailgating. If you’re following a car, allow about twice the distance you would usually give.
- Watch weather updates before going out for a long drive. If possible, delay trips until the weather gets better.
- Pack an emergency kit that includes: food, water, blankets, gloves, hats and your medication.
- Stay with your vehicle and do not leave in case you get snow-bound. This way, rescuers will be able to locate you easily. Also, adverse weather makes visibility poor. So, if you wander away from your car, you might get lost.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I suggest that you stay home when bad weather hits. However, if you must brave the icy roads, please do so prepared and keep the above safety tips in mind. Snow or ice covered roads are no joke. We need to be careful when we travel on them.