February 24, 2020
Indiana winter weather usually brings with it a host of car accidents and related injuries. As a general rule, you should try to stay indoors during extremely severe weather. But if you must venture outdoors, here are a few things to help you avoid an accident in snow and ice.
Winterize Your Vehicle
There are vehicle components and fluids that merit changing as Indiana winter rolls in. It is best to check with a trusted mechanic to make sure that your vehicle is ready for the winter roads.
Check your tires. Depending on your vehicle, you may want to change to winter tires. At the very least, make sure that your tire pressure is where it ought to be. Remember that cold weather causes the air in your tires to constrict, lowering tire pressure.
Change your fluids. Make sure that your vehicle is full of antifreeze as well as wiper fluid that has antifreeze.
Test your battery. Check your battery and clean it of any corrosion so that it will behave optimally during extreme cold. If your battery is old, you should probably replace your battery before winter approaches.
Keep supplies inside the vehicle. It is always a good idea to include a survival kit in your car, along with an ice scraper and hand warmers.
Be More Alert
Don’t drive too close to other vehicles. You never know when a driver in front of you may break or move suddenly. On snow and ice, you will need more time and room to avoid an accident.
Drive slower. Smart Indiana drivers lower their speed significantly over snow and ice. Just as creating extra space between you and the other vehicle increases your ability to maneuver, a slower speed gives you more time to react.
Leave your phone alone. Texting and holding a phone is dangerous in normal weather conditions, but it is incredibly dangerous during snow and ice. While wearing a hands-free device is much safer, it is often best to avoid using your phone altogether so that you can focus on the road.
Keep distractions to a minimum. Depending on the severity of the weather, blaring music could distract you from responding carefully and avoiding an accident. Secure objects within your vehicle and make sure you have everything you need before you start your car.
Master Driving Techniques on Snow and Ice
Know if your car is front, rear, or all-wheel-drive. Rear-wheel-drive vehicles are the most susceptible to slips and skids. If at all possible, use a 4-wheel-drive vehicle if you must go outside during snow and ice.
Approach hills carefully. If you begin hitting the gas pedal while climbing, your wheels might spin. Also, if you try to brake while climbing a hill, your vehicle may start to slide backward. Be extra careful on hills by gaining the momentum you need to get up the hill and then pumping the brakes slowly as you descend.
Turn in the direction of the skid. Most experienced winter drivers learn early on that they should turn the wheel in the direction of the skid to get out of it. If you try to turn the other direction, your car will spin in circles.
Sudden movements might not work. As a general rule, if you need to turn, brake, or speed up quickly, the snow is likely to prevent your wheels from responding on the road. Always move slowly enough so that you have plenty of time to maneuver your vehicle properly.
For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you protect yourself in the event of a vehicle accident, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.