Texas doesn’t see much of the worst winter weather, but that doesn’t mean we never have icy conditions. When the temperature drops even a few degrees below freezing, rain can turn to freezing rain, and wet roads can turn into slick hazards. Under the right winter weather conditions, this dangerous transition can occur in a matter of minutes.
Weather conditions like this can be unpredictable and may develop into dangerous ice storms. While these storms inevitably create wrecks on the roads, you can lower your risk for a crash.
“The disaster prevention and response experts at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommend following the “three Ps” when driving on icy roads and highways.”
Three Ps for Safe Driving on Icy Roads: Prepare, Protect, and Prevent
The disaster prevention and response experts at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommend following the “three Ps” when driving on icy roads and highways. You should review these items at the beginning of every winter to make sure they stay fresh in your mind.
Prepare for the Drive
This tip comes first for a reason. You should remain aware of changing weather conditions, particularly during winter months when some of the coldest and most treacherous ice or snow storms can occur.
Always maintain your car by checking the battery and fluid levels as well as your tire pressure. And make sure you’re using no-freeze windshield washer fluid during the winter months.
You should pack your car with essential items such as a snow brush and ice scraper, a shovel, a flashlight, blankets, and any essential items (like food, water, and medications) that you’ll need if you happen to get stranded during a longer trip.
When planning a trip, make sure to have a backup route available in case bad weather gets in the way of your primary path. For each route, mark locations where you can stop along the way in case of emergency or unsafe road conditions.
If you know you will likely be traveling on icy or snowy roads, you may also want to take the time to practice common defensive driving maneuvers. For example, learn how your car responds to braking or turning on ice by safely practicing on low-traffic roads or an empty parking lot. Practice these maneuvers at slow speeds to avoid any potential danger for yourself or others.
Seatbelts exist for a reason, and they save lives. Always buckle up and make sure everyone else in your car does the same. Also, if your child requires an infant seat, make sure you secure it tightly and according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember that children 12 and under should always ride in the back seat.
Safety experts also recommend that passengers sit at least 10 inches away from any active airbags to allow for proper deployment.
Prevent Accidents With Safe Driving
Do your best to keep yourself and others safe while driving. One of the best ways to avoid a wreck is to maintain a safe distance behind any vehicle you are following. The length you think is safe during an ice storm is probably too short. Experiments show that the distance needed to bring a car or truck to a complete stop increases tenfold on ice.
Avoid braking hard on icy roads, and keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to slow down in hazardous or unfamiliar conditions. In icy or snowy weather, being forced to make a sudden stop often means it’s already too late to avoid a collision.
Unfortunately, no matter how many safety precautions you take, you can’t eliminate your risk of being injured in a wreck due to someone else’s careless driving. At Crosley Law, we fight aggressively to get justice and compensation for injured victims and their families when negligent drivers cause crashes.
Crosley Law: Fighting for Car Wreck Victims and Their Families in San Antonio and Throughout Texas
If you’ve suffered injuries in a car wreck and you’d like to learn more about your rights and our approach to car accident claims, contact us online or call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 to schedule your free consultation with one of our injury attorneys.
Braking distances on ice. (2017, November 29). Lightfoot. Retrieved from https://www.lightfoot.co.uk/news/2017/11/29/braking-distances-ice/
FEMA. (20019, February 5). Ice storm demands safe driving [Press release] (Release no. 3303-009). Retrieved from https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2009/02/05/ice-storm-demands-safe-driving
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.