Winter Weather Safety Tips from Your Northwest Florida Car Accident Lawyer

Weather has been promoted from a short segment at the end of the newscast to the leading news story throughout most of the country this week. WJHG reported on school closings, frozen fountains, and the concerns of the Department of Agriculture as the cold snap hit our area. While Florida's weather is still warmer than most of the country’s, and while cold spells tend to be brief here, this week has been a reminder that winter does hit the Sunshine State, and our Panama City injury law firm wants to use this opportunity to remind our readers about winter driving safety.

Cold Weather Driving

Safe winter driving advice can be broken down into two related categories: general automotive tips for cold weather, and tips for handling vehicles in icy or snowy conditions. AAA's tips for keeping your vehicle in working order during cold weather conditions include:

  • Keep your tires properly inflated (consult your owner's manual for details).
  • Keep your gas tank filled to at least the halfway point when possible.
  • Never leave a vehicle running to warm up in an enclosed area (ex. a closed garage).
  • Avoid using your parking brake when possible.
  • Keep a blanket and emergency safety kit in your car.
  • Make sure your cell phone is fully charged before venturing out in cold weather.
  • Keep kitty litter, salt, or gravel in your vehicle to help you regain traction if you become stuck.
  • Stay in your vehicle if you do become stranded. Keep the exhaust pipe clear and tie a bright cloth to the antenna or place a cloth in your rolled up window if visibility is an issue.

Driving in Icy or Snowy Weather

Additional tips focused on snowy or icy conditions can be also be found on The Weather Channel's website. Key pieces of advice include:

  • Never use cruise control if there is any chance of ice.
  • Accelerate slowly. Decrease our traveling speed and increase the distance between you and the car in front of you so you have extra room to stop.
  • Use extra care on bridges and overpasses as they freeze first. Rarely-travelled roads are more likely to develop ice than well-traveled stretches.
  • Know your car. If you have anti-lock brakes, apply firm and steady pressure. If you do not, pump your brakes to prevent locking.
  • When possible, avoid coming to a full stop because it is much harder to get moving again from a complete stop than from a slow roll.
  • If you skid, ease off the accelerator. Generally, it is best to steer in the direction you want to travel.

Of course, general driving advice applies in cold weather as well. Don't drive drowsy, don't drive drowsy, and always buckle up. If you can stay home in bad weather, do.

Representing the Injured in All Seasons

Another important piece of advice – the fact that weather contributed to an accident does not mean no one was at fault. If another driver acted negligently, and that negligence led to you or a family member becoming injured, even if other factors played a role, you may have a personal injury claim. Call our Panama City car accident injury attorney to discuss your unique case.

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