Dashing Through the Snow: Winter Weather Driving Tips
Walking in a winter wonderland is a perfect way to kick off the holiday season, but driving anywhere in heavy winter snow is a little more challenging. This year, Colorado has already been hit with one serious winter storm in October, and we have plenty more snow on the way.
For all drivers, whether you’re experienced in Colorado winters or you’re visiting the state and have never seen snowflakes, it’s important to get ready for winter driving and winter weather safety.
Prepare Your Car
While you’re decorating your house for the holidays, spend a little time prepping your car for the winter roads. Driving safety experts recommend that drivers start preparing for snow and ice on the roads early so that a sudden winter storm isn’t a dangerous surprise. The following tips outline some of the basic safety precautions that drivers should take in getting ready:
- Put snow tires on your car. Colorado gets a lot of snow in the winter, and consistent cold temperatures make it difficult for that snow to melt quickly. That said, accumulation simply piles up on the streets. Sometimes, even frequent snow plows can’t keep up and you may find yourself trying to navigate freshly-snowed grounds to get home, especially if a snow storm sneaks up on you. Snow tires give drivers better traction and provide a better ability to maneuver in slush, snow and ice. It’s recommended to get four snow tires to optimize steering and braking abilities in all weather.
- Check your engine. Cold weather creates less than ideal conditions for car engines, so make sure that yours is still running smoothly. Take your car into a local car shop or dealership, or check the radiator coolant and oil levels yourself. Keep up with oil changes, as proper maintenance helps your car respond better.
- Replenish your windshield wiper fluid. Make sure that your windshield can be easily de-iced in a sudden storm, and keep a spare bottle handy just in case you run out. Winter weather also leads to dirt, slush and grime on your cars, so keeping your windshield clear is important for visibility.
- Replace any headlights and taillights that might have burned out. In poor visibility, strong light signals can alert other cars to your presence.
- Keep a winter storm survival kit in your trunk. Pack a blanket, flashlight, batteries, a shovel, and some water and snacks. Safety experts also recommend packing flares, jumper cables, cell phone chargers for the car, and even cat litter to give your tires better traction. You never know when you’ll get stuck in bad weather or rough patches on the road.
Snow-covered grounds create a beautiful holiday backdrop, but they don’t promote the safest driving conditions even for experienced drivers. Use caution when traveling in winter weather and be on the lookout for icy patches, heavy snow and sleet that could turn a straight road into a danger zone.
If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s recklessness this winter season, contact a Denver personal injury lawyer at Levine Law for a consultation today.