Winter Driving Tips
Six Safe Winter Driving Tips For South Carolina Drivers
With the new year fast approaching, here are winter driving tips for staying safe on South Carolina roads. While many parts of our beautiful state rarely get enough snow to worry about, citizens along the Blue Ridge mountains have a higher chance of driving in snowy conditions.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety has these tips for you:
- Slow down - when driving in snow and ice, it’s best to drive below the posted speed limit. While the speed limit may be safe for dry or warm, rainy conditions, it may be too high when there’s snow or ice on the road surface.
- Don’t tailgate or follow close to the driver ahead of you - braking in snowy conditions could cause you to rear-end the vehicle in front of you. Be safe and back off by allowing more room between you and the driver ahead of you.
- Excessive steering or acceleration - slick, snowy roads make fast, abrupt turning and braking dangerous. Go slow, make gradual turns and press gently on the accelerator.
- Vehicle capability - even if your car has front or four-wheel drive, that doesn’t allow you to drive at or above the speed limit. Turn on your headlights to be more visible and make sure your windshield wipers do a good job of cleaning the windshield for a clear view in front of you.
- Stay vigilant - Be extra alert when driving in winter weather. Don’t be a distracted driver by using your cell phone, changing dials and buttons on the dashboard or letting passengers take your attention away from the road conditions. Keep conversations to a minimum and don’t try to discipline your kids in the backseat.
- Don’t use cruise control - this is a dangerous feature to use on snowy or ice-covered roads. Vehicles in cruise control mode can suddenly accelerate, causing a loss of control.
Keeping up with your car’s maintenance will help you drive safely in any weather. Be sure your brakes work properly, use your car’s defrost system to keep the windshield and side windows clear, and always have tires with adequate tread to get the maximum traction on roads.
Winter Weather Driving Hazards
If you have to drive in snowy or icy conditions, there are two things that could happen to you: skidding out of control or getting stuck. Both are scary and could result in damage to your vehicle and injury to you and your passengers.
Skidding - if you still drive slowly and carefully, your car could suddenly skid. Take your foot off the accelerator, turn your steering wheel in the opposite direction of the skid and pump the brakes gently.
Getting stuck - even if you drive carefully, you could hit an icy patch and wind up on the side of the road in deeper snow. If you get stuck, do not accelerate hard and spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper. Turn your wheel back and forth while gently pressing the accelerator. Use a shovel to dig out snow, ice and mud under the car wheels to help the tires get better traction. If you can find sand, gravel or cat litter, sprinkle this under each tire to give a better grip.
We hope you and your loved ones are never in an accident caused by a careless driver in a winter storm. But if you are struck by another vehicle, let the South Carolina car accident lawyers at the Anastopoulo Law firm give you a free consultation to see if there is compensation you may be entitled to for car repairs, hospital bills and lost wages to injury recovery time. Call us now at 1-800-313-2546.
Image courtesy of CBS Boston