Winter Driver Safety Guide In Texas
It seems like no season is safe when it comes to car accidents. Whether its spring, summer, fall or winter you are likely to see car accidents on the roadways. But, during the winter months there are an especially large number of accidents. In fact, every winter over 900 people are killed in car accidents and over 75,000 people are injured during winter months or during snowfall and sleet.
Maybe people don't judge the roadways properly, maybe they go out on icy roads when they shouldn't, or maybe they don't have the right tires on their cars. If you plan on driving this winter, there are a few winter driver safety skills and smarts you need to have in order to be safe.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Driver safety starts with your car. Make sure you get your vehicle checked up before winter even starts. Your battery should be strong, you should have a spare tire and a jack, as well as jumper cables in your trunk. Also make sure your hoses and fan belts should be checked or replaced.
Winter Driver Safety Recommendations
Never warm your car up in an enclosed area, such as a garage. Before you start your vehicle, back it out of the garage - or if you have an automatic starter, only start the car after you have opened the garage door! Before getting into your car make sure your tailpipe does not have ice or snow on it. This can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Be super-aware of your surroundings and allow more time to brake or stop, especially when visibility is poor because of snow, ice, sleet or fog.
If you are on the road and start to skid - stay calm. Don't slam on your brakes, don't panic, and don't over correct. Instead, turn into the slide - turn your wheels in the same direction the car is sliding.
Carry Emergency Supplies
If you ever were to have an accident while driving, end up driving off the road because it's slippery, or have your car break down it's a good idea to carry these supplies in your car trunk:
- Road Flares
- Windshield wiper fluid
- A foldable shovel
- Tow and Tire chains
- Bag of salt - cat litter also works
- Basic tool kit
Pack A Survival Kit
If you are traveling long distances and you get stuck outdoors or your car gets stuck in the snow, here are a few important items to keep in your car:
- Drinking water and non-perishable food like granola bars or beef jerky
- Matches (wooden)
- Cell phone charger
- Extra blankets
- Warm clothing
- An ice scraper and brush
Basic Driver Safety Tips if you Become Stranded:
- If possible, pull off the highway. However, don't endanger yourself in doing so. Whether you are able to get off the road or not, make sure you use your hazard lights or road flares to warn other cars.
- Call 911 as soon as possible and let them know where you are stuck. If you don't have a GPS, you can use geographical signs like mile markers.
- Conserve your battery as much as possible.
- At night when you do run the engine for warmth - turn your interior lights on, especially if someone is out looking for you, they will be able to see the light and help you.