There have been hundreds of accidents in the last few days as winter weather finally descended on the Metroplex. One motorist was tragically killed in Carrollton and another trucker escaped with his life on I-45 as his tractor-trailer dangled over a bridge. Snow — and more treacherous roads — are expected tonight and tomorrow. It’s no wonder that ice and snow are some of the leading causes of car and truck accidents. Please be ultra cautious if you have to drive this week.
Driving Safely On Frozen Roads To Prevent Car Accidents
Sometimes you can’t prevent crashes on icy and snowy roads because your vehicle might be out of control, but there are ways you can be prepared.
1. Get a grip. To have adequate snow traction, a tire requires at least 6/32-inch deep tread and most passenger-car tires manufactured today usually have 10/32-inch of tread. Ultrahigh-performance summer tires have little or no grip in snow. Even all-season tires don’t necessarily have great snow traction. If you live where the roads are regularly covered with snow, use snow tires (sometimes called winter tires by manufacturers). If they have a “snowflake on the mountain” symbol on the sidewall, then they meet a tire-industry standard for snow traction.
2. Make sure you can see. Be sure to maintain functionality of your windshield wiper blades, and clean the inside of your windows thoroughly. Make sure your windshield washer system works and is full of an anti-icing fluid by draining older fluid by running the washers until new fluid appears. Switching fluid colors makes this easy.
3. Run the air-conditioner. In order to remove condensation and frost from the interior of windows, engage your air-conditioner and select the fresh air option. It is fine to set the temperature on hot, which many vehicles automatically do this when you choose the defrost setting.
4. Check your lights. You should first make sure your headlights and taillights are clear of snow. Use your headlights so that others will see you and if you have an older car with sand-pitted headlights, get a new set of lenses.
5. Take a brake. It is easy to properly use antilock brakes: stomp, stay and steer. Stomp on the pedal as if you were trying to snap it off, stay hard on the pedal, and steer around the obstacle. A little bit of steering goes a very long way in an emergency.
6. Watch out carefully for “black ice.” If the road looks slick, it probably is. This is especially true with one of winter’s worst hazards: black ice. Also called “glare ice”, this is nearly transparent ice that often looks like a harmless puddle or is overlooked entirely.
7. Too much steering is bad. If a slick section in a turn causes your front tires to lose grip, the common but incorrect reaction is to continue turning the steering wheel. If the icy conditions end and the front tires regain grip, your car will dart whichever way the wheels are pointed.
8. Avoid rear-tire slides. First, choose a car with electronic stability control (ESC). Fortunately, ESC is mandatory on all 2012 and later models. Next, make sure your rear tires have at least as much tread as your front tires. Always remember, if you buy winter tires, do it for all four wheels.
Call Our Law Firm If You’ve Been Injured In A Car Accident
Regardless of your driving skills or car preparation, there are some winter conditions that cannot be conquered. Using these tips may help you successfully navigate snowy and icy roads and prevent a fatal car accident the next time ol’ man winter is in town.
If you’ve been injured in a car or truck collision, call us now at 1-888-801-8585 or click here for a FREE consultation with an experienced accident lawyer. Since 1980, our Fort Worth law office has been geared primarily towards auto and truck accident claims. We know how the insurance companies work, so let our insider knowledge help you in your time of need.