Preparing for Winter Travel

Written by: Injured 914

Winter in Westchester

Many residents in Westchester County saw a dusting of snow this past weekend.  That first snow always looks pretty and ushers in the start of the winter season. After the ease of summer driving, with more daylight hours and favorable weather conditions, we all should probably take a refresher course in driving in winter weather.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 are injured nationwide in motor vehicle accidents during snowfall or sleet.

Safety Tips from the NHTSA

The NHTSA suggests the following tips for traveling safely as the weather turns more inclement.   

Ready Your Vehicle

Driving safely begins before you even get on the road.  Regular tune-ups and maintenance are the starting point for safe driving year-round.  In winter, pay special attention to your vehicle’s battery, wipers, coolant, tires and other systems that can take a beating when the temperature drops.  If you are using snow tires, have them installed before the snow begins to fall.  When you know your vehicle is ready for the road, clear your car of snow, ice or dirt from the windows, forward sensors, headlights, taillights, and backup camera.  

Ready Yourself 

Drive slowly.  It’s hard to control or stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered road.  Increase your following distance enough so that you’ll have plenty of time to stop for vehicles ahead of you.  Also remember that every vehicle handles differently; this is particularly true when driving on wet, icy, or snowy roads.  Take the time to learn how it handles under winter weather conditions.

Ready for an Emergency

Vehicles break down.  Any of us can get caught out in the elements and help might not be around the corner.  Make sure your vehicle is stocked to help get you out of trouble or to keep you safe until help arrives.  Keep blankets, flashlights, jumper cables, and flares or emergency lights in your vehicle.  Even if you don’t need them, they can be used to help someone else in need on the road.  

Be Prepared in Case of an Accident

Even if you and your vehicle are prepared, crashes happen. Getting medical treatment is the number one priority.  Reporting the accident to the police is also important. Should you feel that the other driver is responsible for the accident and your subsequent injuries and damages, seek the advice of an experienced law firm to help navigate the road ahead.

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