The Three P’s of Safe Winter Driving
Posted on January 12th, 2016 by Zane Cagle
We know St. Louisans prepare for winter weather by cleaning out the grocery stores of milk, bread and eggs which could result in several days of French toast.
But seriously, if you are going to have to be out driving in winter snow and ice, remember the three P’s of Safety: PREPARE, PROTECT and PREVENT motor vehicle accidents.
Prepare for safety by doing the following from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and OHSA:
- Be Sure Your Car is Maintained: Check the tire tread, battery, and windshield wipers. Keep your windows clear, and check your anti-freeze.
- Have Supplies: Be sure to stow flashlights, jumper cables, kitty litter, shovel, snow/ice scraper, and blankets. For long trips also take food and water. And, take your cell phone (as if any of us go anywhere with out it)
- Car Becomes Stopped or Stalled? Call 911 if on a busy interstate or highway. If you choose to stay in your car, be sure the exhaust is cleared. If stalled on a busy highway or interstate shoulder, get a safe distance from your vehicle until emergency crews arrive.
- Plan Your Route: Allow plenty of time and be sure to check weather reports, be familiar with directions and let others know your route and estimated time of arrival
- Practice Cold Weather Driving:
- During daylight, rehearse maneuvers slowly on ice or snow in an empty lot,
- Steer into a skid,
- Know your brakes ie: stomp on antilock brakes and pump on non-antilock brakes
- Increase Following Distance- allow more room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
- Don’t idle for a long time with the windows up or in an enclosed space.
- Buckle up and use child restraint seats properly
- Never place a rear-facing infant in a seat in front of an air bag
- Children 12 and under are safer in the back seat
- Drugs and alcohol should never be combined with driving
- Slow down and increase distances between cars
- Stay alert for pedestrians and other vehicles that may be stalled or stuck
- Avoid fatigue. Get plenty of sleep before a trip, stop at least every three hours, and rotate drivers if possible
- If you are planning to drink, designate a sober driver.
While we all begin to long for spring and summer, in reality we are a almost three months away from warmer temperatures.
Driving in inclement weather is always dangerous, so if you do not have to drive, stay in. But in the real world, we know that many still have to drive to work and have commitments. Of course, if the roads become impassible or if safety alerts are broadcasted, you should refrain from driving if at all possible.
Motor vehicle accidents are obviously serious incidents. If you have a minor injury, the insurance claim process can be complicated enough. If you are seriously injured, then there is a very good chance you would be wise to hire an expert car accident attorney to be certain you obtain the compensation you will need to recover.
If you are in a collision, you will have questions. We are available for free consultations seven days a week.