According to U.S.A. Today, 93 million people will travel for the holidays, and many of these travelers will get behind the wheel to get to their destination. Even when the holidays fall midweek, travelers tend to drive over the weekend, which makes weekend driving before or after a major holiday the busiest time on the road. Holidays travel can be dangerous, not just because of the crowds but also because many drivers hit the road in winter conditions. Are you planning on hitting the road this holiday season? What are some winter driving risks? And what can you do to prevent winter driving accidents this holiday season? The Cooper Law Firm is a Texas car accident law firm offering some tips for you and your family to stay safer this holiday season.
Winter Driving Risks
While we think of winter driving hazards as involving snow storms or ice on the roads, some of the biggest dangers of winter driving are the more mundane dangers—the everyday dangers we face that can become dangerous when drivers let their guards down. What are some unexpected (and expected) winter driving risks? Here are a few:
- Shorter Days, Darker Roads, and Proper Headlights. Whether you live far up north or in southern Texas, one of the risks of winter driving is the reality that we all face shorter days. Shorter days mean that it’s more likely you’ll be driving at night. And night driving leads to less visibility on the road. Drivers with poorer eyesight may be at greater risk. If elderly loved ones will be driving or traveling this winter, now might be the time to double check eyeglass prescriptions. This is also a good time of year to make sure that your car headlights are strong, working, and clean.
- Before you leave home, check weather conditions, and if winter weather is predicted, either plan your drive to avoid winter weather, or wait a day. Driving during active snowfall can be incredibly dangerous because city and country roads, or even highways may not yet have been cleared. Some roads are also more hazardous than others. For example, mountain roads or high altitude roads during the winter season can bring more driving hazards. Avoiding these roads can lead to a safer ride.
- Icy Roads. Black ice is particularly dangerous because it cannot be seen. And it doesn’t even need to be that cold for black ice to form. In fact, black ice is more likely to form on roadways after a light freezing rain, or in weather conditions where it is not quite cold to freeze water, but cold enough to freeze standing water on the road. When driving, know where black ice is more likely to form, and know when it is more likely to form. For example, black ice is more likely to form in shaded parts of the road, on bridges, overpasses, and in the early mornings.
These are just a few of the winter driving hazards that drivers might encounter. The best way to prevent accidents in the winter is to be prepared. The Cooper Law Firm sees many accidents that could have been prevented had drivers taken proper precautions. What are some precautions you can take?
Precautions You Can Take to Stay Safe on the Road this Holiday
Before hitting the road this holiday, there are a few things you can do to stay safe. What are they? Here are a few:
- Make Sure Windshield Washing Fluid is Full. A frosted windshield can decrease your visibility and increase the risk of a crash. Windshield wiper fluid can literally be a life saver.
- Check Your Battery. Getting stranded in cold weather isn’t just unpleasant, it can be downright dangerous. The time to get your battery checked is before you hit the road for holiday travel.
- Check Your Tire Pressure. Colder weather can change your tire pressure, which can result in an accident. Always check your tires before going for long winter drives.
- Pack a Winter Safety Kit. What happens if you do get stranded? You want to be prepared. Pack warm clothing, a shovel, flashlights, snacks, drinking water, phone chargers, and sand or cat litter, or other substances that can help your car get traction if you get stuck.
These are just some things you can do to stay safe before you hit the road this holiday season. The car accident lawyers at the Cooper Law Firm in Texas wish you and your family safe travels this holiday. If you do encounter difficulties on the road, be prepared. Call the police, make a police report, exchange contact information with the other driver, and consider reaching out to the Cooper Law Firm. Our attorneys may be able to help. USAttorneys.com can also connect you with our car accident lawyers today.