Driving during the winter season can be a trying experience. In addition to the adverse weather conditions, you also have to deal with the snow piled up outdoors and the occasional ice patch. This is why there is a marked increase in the number of road accidents during winters.
On average, winter weather and the poor road conditions caused by it lead to nearly 500,000 road crashes every year. More than 2,000 Americans die in these crashes, making winter weather a major cause of traffic fatalities.
It is critically important to take safety precautions when hitting the road in the winters. By being prepared and well-informed, you have better chances of staying safe on the road and bearing the weather without any harm to yourself or to your car. Here are some handy tips to get you started in the right direction.
Assemble a Winter Survival Kit
You must be prepared and ready for weather-related problems on the road during winters. For this, you need to have a smart winter survival kit. You can easily assemble this kit with items at your home. Following are some essential for this kit:
- Blankets. If you are stranded in the middle of the road in extremely cold weather, a blanket can be a life-saver. Blankets help you stay warm even if your car’s battery dies and until you can get help.
- Hand warmers. Blankets keep you warm as long as you stay inside the car. When heading outside the car, such as when scraping ice or clearing the windshield, hand warmers are quite handy.
- Ice scrapers. This one item is an absolute must-have during winter driving. You need an ice scraper at all times. If you are stuck with no access to help, and ice scraper may help you rescue yourself.
- Jumper cables. Your car’s battery has to exert more during cold weather. If you have an aged battery, it may die in the middle of nowhere. This is when jumper cables come in handy. You can use another car’s battery or a source with a similar voltage to jumpstart the battery.
- Washer fluid. When clearing your windshield of the snow that has accumulated overnight or during a particularly hard blizzard, a washer fluid gets the job done quickly. So make sure you add one to your survival kit.
- Food. If you are taking a long journey, make sure you bring food with you. A bag of dried fruits and nuts can serve as your back-up food supply.
- Flashlight. A flashlight is always a handy tool. It is particularly so if the car stops working and you have to tinker with the components. You will need light to do so.
Winterize Your Car
The winter weather forces your car to exert more. This can affect the car’s performance and lead to the failure of one or more components like the battery, spark plug, and tires. A good way to avoid facing such failure in the middle of the road is to test and prep your car for the winter season.
Check your battery and see if it is in good condition. If the battery has aged, it would be a good idea to have it replaced before the worst of the winter arrives. Test run the climate controls in the car so that you know you can rely on the heating if stranded in your car. Depending on the expected local road conditions, you may want to have the tires replaced or optimized. Also, check wiper blades to ensure you can rely on them when driving through adverse conditions.
Be Ready to Tackle a Snowbank
Snowbanks may form up around cars overnight during the snowy season. It’s a reality most drivers have to face in the winters. The best way to deal with it is to be prepared and know how to get out of a snowbank. You will need a shovel, some salt and some initiative to do so.
To start with, use a shovel to remove the snow from around the car. Make sure there’s no snow around the tires, exhaust pipes, and windshield. If needed, use salt around and near the tires to more readily melt the snow. Then get your car into the lowest gear and slowly try to move. If that’s still not possible, physically rock your car back and forth to give it a push.
Hiring Buffalo Car Accident Lawyers
Winter accidents can often happen due to the negligence of a driver. If you have been injured in an accident this winter season, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact our Buffalo car accident lawyers to book a FREE consultation and discuss the possibility of damages.