The best way of coping with a blizzard is staying off the road. By keeping abreast of the weather forecasts and by delaying or advancing your usual commute times, you avoid the full brunt of the storm. However, this isn’t always possible. Sometimes you have to be somewhere regardless of the weather. If you must take on a blizzard in your car, follow these seven survival tips:
Go to a Service Station First
Fill up your gas tank if it’s on the low side and top off your wiper fluid reservoir. Do you have a scraper and brush? Do you have a small snow shovel and some sand or kitty litter for traction should you get stuck? If not, buy whatever you can at the station.
Wait for the Snow Plow
If the road or highway hasn’t been plowed or treated yet, pull off at the nearest store or public parking space and wait until a plow comes by. The wait shouldn’t be that long because snow clearing crews are usually on the road well before normal commute hours. The 15 or 30 minute wait will greatly reduce your risk of an accident and of getting stuck. Leave early to allow for the slower travel time.
Do Everything Gradually
Because snow has poor traction, it’s impossible to make hard turns, accelerations, or to brake hard. Any attempts to do so will cause skidding. The exception is when you have ABS brakes. If you slam your foot on the brake pedal, they will do the gentle braking for you. ABS brakes won’t give you summertime braking distances, however.
Don’t Brake and Turn at the Same Time
Brake first, and then turn. Doing both at the same time demands more traction than is available with your tires. Attempting both together will cause skidding.
This rule follows from the fact that you can’t brake or turn hard. Making a last second emergency maneuver to avoid an accident is not an option.
Look Farther Down the Road and Brake Well in Advance
This assumes the visibility allows you to see farther down the road. Weak braking power requires that you start braking well in advance of an obstacle, stoplight, or intersection. If the visibility is extremely poor, drive at a crawl and pull off at the nearest available parking area. Wait out the worst of the blizzard before continuing on.
Avoid Steep Hills
Plan out an alternate route that avoids steep hills. Even if your vehicle can handle these, the traffic uphill from you may not.
The above tips assume that you’ve already winterized your car for the season. Do your best to keep blizzard drives at an absolute minimum.
If in spite of your careful driving, a motorist injured you in a car accident, an experienced Eastern Shore accident lawyer at the Law Offices of John Critzos, II can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.
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