Don’t Be One of ‘Those’ Drivers This Winter

October 20 2016 | Blog
  • Kentucky Car Accidental Injury Attorney

    If you’ve lived through a few winters in Kentucky or Tennessee, it’s likely that you’re used to the protocol when driving on icy or snowy roads. We slow down, we allow lots of space between ourselves and other drivers and we’re prepared for less traction. We do this because we’ve all seen what happens when someone fails to respect the changed condition of the road. Someone hits a patch of ice, begins to slide, then panics and slams on the brakes, overcorrects and ends up fishtailing. Sometimes this leads to a slow spin of the entire vehicle, front end facing backwards and then they glide into the snowbank.

    It can happen quickly and the truth is, while it usually happens to novice drivers or to folks from out of town who aren’t used to driving in winter conditions, it can happen to any one of us is we fail to react correctly. Remember that last year’s unexpected snow storms in Northern Kentucky stranded hundreds of drivers for several hours along I-65. Situations like this compounded with careless driving is a recipe for an even worse disaster.

    To avoid being that guy on the road this winter,  use these six winter driving tips to stay safe and prevent dangerous, even deadly accidents from occurring on the Kentucky highways and byways.



    Don’t Overestimate Your Snow Tires or Four Wheel Drive


    Snow tires can make driving in snowy, wet or icy conditions better, but that doesn’t mean it makes it completely safe. The same goes for four wheel drive and all wheel drive (AWD) systems.

    Before you feel too confident about your Subaru’s AWD, realize that inclement weather means changing your habits no matter how well equipped you feel. Don’t punch the gas or the brakes too aggressively, and use caution when turning. Turning too abruptly or braking at the wrong time could bring you into a dangerous fishtail regardless of your tires, which brings us to our next point…



    Don’t Over Correct if You Slide  


    Having your back end drift off course from your front can be one of the most terrifying moments in a vehicle. However, keeping calm and getting your vehicle steady are the name of the game. Step lightly on the brake and remember to steer into the skid before you steer away from it. Braking too hard or steering headlong into the other direction will make your skid even worse and your car more likely to collide with something or go off road. You can refer to the Kentucky driver’s manual to learn more about the technique in detail.


    Give People Extra Room When Following


    Braking power gets diminished in wet weather and especially when there is snow and ice on the road. Account for this by leaving more room than you usually would when driving behind them.



    Stay in the Car if You Get Stranded


    Unless you know for sure that a service station is less than a mile away, the safest place to be in the event of a breakdown during the winter is inside your own vehicle.

    If your vehicle is not in a safe place at least three feet away from the shoulder, move it first.  Then, turn on your hazard lights and, weather permitting, open your hood to signal to others that you need help. If you have road flares, reflectors or roadside emergency lights, put one in front of the vehicle and one behind.

    After this, all you can do is sit and wait for emergency services. You can keep warm and prevent hazard lights from killing your battery by starting the vehicle for 10 minutes of every hour. Just make sure the area around the tailpipe stays cleared of snow!



    Pack the Right Items


    Before traveling in winter weather, you should ensure that your vehicle has:

    • A well stocked emergency and first aid kit
    • Blankets
    • Extra clothing, such as sweaters, socks and gloves
    • Several gallons of water
    • Non-perishable food
    • Road salt
    • Travel phone charger or re-charging pack
    • Spare tire, tire jack
    • Road flares or emergency signs



    Avoid Back Roads


    Road crews clear snow from busy roads first, so expect lesser-used roads to suffer accordingly. If you can, avoid going on them since they can have unseen hazards and will leave you stranded farther from emergency services.



    What to Do if You Get Injured in an Auto Accident


    If you do happen to get in a winter accident and have been injured by a party potentially at fault for the accident, you should contact a Kentucky personal injury lawyer. They can help you retrieve the rightful amount of compensation you are owed from insurers or another party.

    Call 800 800 4600 or use our simple contact form for a free case evaluation today.

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