While winter driving in South Carolina may pale in comparison to states further north, the colder months can still bring thunderstorms, fog, black ice, and other unsavory conditions. If you are planning on traveling this holiday season and are headed north, you may also encounter snow.
Driving in the winter can be hazardous and scary, especially during a rainstorm or when you're driving in an area with a lot of snow and ice. Since we can't always avoid travel during the winter season, being prepared and taking extra precautions can help keep you safe on winter roads and in cases of emergencies.
Prepare, Protect, Prevent
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the three P's of safe winter driving are: PREPARE for the trip, PROTECT yourself, and PREVENT crashes on the road. Here’s a list of what you can do:
- Properly maintain your vehicle. Check the battery, windshield wipers, brakes, headlights, and tire tread. Be sure to keep your windows clear, check your antifreeze, and deposit no-freeze fluid inside of the washer reservoir.
- Keep an emergency kit handy. Be sure to keep a flashlight, jumper cables, an abrasive material such as kitty litter or sand (when you're driving in snow), a shovel, flares, and blankets.
- Take your time. When traveling in heavy rain or snow, allow plenty of time to get to your destination. Don't forget to check the weather before you leave, be sure to familiarize yourself with the directions, and let others know where you are going. Also remember that it takes longer to stop on wet, slick, or icy roads, so increase your following distance and give yourself plenty of time to slow down and stop before an intersection.
Protect Yourself & Your Passengers
Buckle up and use child safety seats properly. Children under the age of 12 are much safer if they sit in the back seat. Never place a rear-facing infant car set in the front with an airbag.
Here’s what you can do to reduce your chance of an accident:
- Drink responsibly and plan for rides if you attend holiday parties
- Be sure to maintain a safe following distance between cars
- Be alert for pedestrians crossing the road
- Do not drive if you're over-tired. Be sure to get plenty of rest before driving, and if you are on a long trip, stop frequently
Get to Know Your Vehicle
Every vehicle handles poor weather conditions differently, and this is especially true if you are driving on wet, icy, or snowy roads. When the weather gets rough, we recommend taking your time (off the main road) to learn how to effectively handle your vehicle under wet, slippery, or icy weather conditions.
It is also important to learn what kinds of brakes you have and how to use them properly if your car begins to skid. If you have antilock brakes, apply firm, continuous pressure. If you do not have antilock brakes, then pump the brakes gently. To learn more helpful tips, you can read the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's checklist for safe winter driving.
Unfortunately, car accidents happen all the time. If you have been injured, we urge you to contact a South Carolina car accident attorney at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers. As a no recovery, no fee law firm*, you have nothing to lose by retaining our firm! Contact is today for a FREE case evaluation.
* Fees computed before deducting expenses from recovery. Our law firm works on a contingency basis, in which we are paid a fee only if you recover money from the other party. Our costs for court filings, stamps, mailing and other office or court activities would be all you’re responsible for. Include the FULL DISCLAIMER on this page.