The colder months in the South are, fortunately, moderate in comparison to the rest of the country. But when winter does strike, like in the case of 2014’s infamous “Snowpocalypse” or this year’s inaugural snow and ice storm, chaos and confusion amongst Georgia drivers can create perilous conditions on the road.
At Greathouse Trial Law, we believe that it is important to have conversations about your personal safety and security to prevent personal injury whenever possible. To show our commitment, we have compiled a list of driving tips to help navigate snowy and icy roads this winter.
Winter Weather Driving Facts
The smallest amounts of snow and ice can turn even the safest roads into a potential hazard. In fact, nearly 24% of weather-related accidents each year take place on snowy or icy roads, with 15% of these accidents occurring during snowfall. Each year, more than 116,800 people are injured while driving on snowy, icy, or slushy roads, and an additional 76,000 are injured during snowfall or sleet.
Perhaps one of the most infamous hazards during the colder months is black ice, a thin layer of transparent ice that may cause a road to look wet, when in reality the road is completely frozen over. Hitting a patch of black ice can be a terrifying experience for a driver, and the consequences of a car accident on an icy road can be both costly and deadly.
Tips for Winter Weather Driving
Despite the increase in risk, driving during snowy or icy conditions can still be done safely. It is recommended to minimize travel as much as possible during inclement weather, but in the event that driving is absolutely required, AAA offers a list of driving tips in winter weather for both short- and long-distance trips. Some of these tips include:
- Make sure that tires are properly inflated.
- Keep your gas tank at least half-full to avoid gas line freezing.
- Refrain from pumping brakes if sliding occurs, especially if your vehicle lacks antilock brakes.
- Double your follow distance time, especially on icy roads.
- Ensure that your antifreeze tank is full at all times.
Winter Mobile Survival Kit
Because snow and ice are not common occurrences in Georgia, a surprise snowstorm can be even more devastating than any other kind of inclement weather. An increase in traffic, car accidents, and hazardous road conditions can leave drivers stranded in the cold for hours at a time. Ready Georgia recommends preparing a “Mobile Ready Kit for Winter,” containing items that can ensure health and safety during unforeseen winter accidents. These items include:
- Portable cell phone charger
- Ice scraper
- Flashlight (and spare batteries)
- Jumper cables
- Sand, salt, or cat litter (for traction on icy roads)
- First aid kit
- Food and bottled water
While some of these items may only be useful during the winter months, other items may prove useful during other parts of the year. We especially encourage assembling a mobile ready kit during long trips, where road conditions and your vehicle’s integrity might be unpredictable or change suddenly.
Even when the weather is less than ideal, Greathouse Trial Law is here to ensure your health, safety, and security on the road. If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident due to inclement weather, contact an experienced attorney to discuss your options during a free consultation today.