Helpful Tips for Driving on Ice and Snow

Car crashes due to ice and snow are scary, for everyone involved.    If you can stay home, it’s always best to stay off the roadways.  But we all know that our essential workers have no choice but to get to work – we NEED them, and thankful for them – and there are times that we just have to get out there for various reasons.   Here are some tips to help:

Tips for Driving on the Roadways during Inclement Weather:

  •     Only drive on ice and snow if you feel comfortable doing so
  •     Remove ALL ice and snow from your vehicle before you leave the driveway
  •     Use four-wheel drive or a traction-control system if possible
  •     Know that ice can be ‘invisible’
  •     If you start to slide, steer the same direction as your back wheels are moving
  •     Do NOT ‘slam’ on the brakes
  •     Allow plenty of space between you and the forward vehicle
  •     Avoid using cruise control
  •     Drive in a lower gear
  •     Drive a little under the speed limit

Car Accident Statistics for Winter Weather

  • The first round of snowfall is more dangerous than any subsequent snowfall received
  • 22% of crashes are related to weather
  • Snow/ice, sleet and slush on roadways lead to approximately 135,000 injuries, 537 automobile crashes, and 1,800 deaths each year
  • Snow days cause property damage only and nonfatal injury accidents to increase in number significantly, but the number of fatal crashes will decrease

Remove ALL Ice and Snow from your Vehicle before Leaving 

If you are driving with snow or ice on your windows, you may not have a clear view of all traffic.  Clean windows will ensure you have a clear view.  Removing ALL of the snow and ice from your vehicle’s hood, trunk, top and sides of your vehicle will prevent ‘sheets’ of ice or snow from flying off of your car while you’re traveling, which could potentially become a dangerous airborne obstacle to the vehicles behind you.    These sheets of snow/ice could cause someone to have an accident as they try to avoid hitting them or land on someone else’s car behind you, preventing the driver from being able to see.

Steer into the Slide

Basically, when you hear ‘steer into the slide’, this means you should start turning your steering wheel in the direction that the back wheels of your vehicle are moving.    So if your rear wheels are sliding to the left, you should start turning your steering wheel to the left.    You’ll want to be sure not to overcorrect while doing this, as it could make the situation worse.

Careful on the Brakes   

It’s natural to want to react suddenly when you feel your car sliding over a patch of ice while driving, but overreacting and slamming on the brakes could make things worse.    If you begin to slide while you are driving, take your foot off the gas pedal and continue to steer the same direction you were going before you started to slide as you move over the icy area.

Stuck – Now What

If you find yourself stuck, and not getting traction, try turning off the traction control button momentarily while you attempt to get out of that rut.  Clear out a path of snow in front and behind your tires.   If there is ice, use whatever device you may have in the car to break up the ice, i.e. an ice scraper, screwdriver, flashlight, etc.   A rough surface will allow for more traction.     Remember to turn traction control back on before you get on the road.

Planning Ahead For Safety

Packing a bag with blankets, a flashlight, cell phone charger, snacks, water and any other item you may need in the unfortunate event you are on the side of the road, waiting for the tow truck, might also be a good idea.   Make sure you have a full tank of gas.   If your car is stuck in the snow and you are staying in your running car to stay warm until help comes, make sure your exhaust pipe is not blocked.    People have died from carbon monoxide buildup inside the vehicle when they were not aware the exhaust was covered in snow and blocked.

Winter Car Accident Attorney in Arkansas  

If you or a loved one has been injured in a wreck on the ice/snow and would like to talk with an attorney, call us today at 501-374-4440 for a free consultation.   An experienced attorney who deals with accidents on snow and ice can answer your questions and explain your rights.  We are here and want to help.

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