Winter driving can be dangerous, but being prepared can help drivers make their trip safer and help them deal with an emergency, while attempting to avoid a Kansas City car accident. Below, we look at how drivers can prepare for colder driving conditions.
Plan Ahead for the Winter Roads to Avoid a Kansas City Car Accident
- Practice driving in cold weather by rehearsing maneuvers slowly on snow or ice in an empty car lot during the daytime. Keep in mind that stopping distances are longer, drivers should know the abilities of the brakes, and they should steer into a skid.
- Drivers should check their tire tread, windshield wipers, and battery. It is important to ensure that tires are correctly inflated and windows are kept clear. Anti-freeze fluid must be placed in the washer reservoir.
- Keep jumper cables, flashlights, and abrasive materials like sand, as well as a shovel, ice scraper and snowbrush in the car. Warm clothing, a phone, and even flares are important if a long journey is being traveled by car.
- Drivers should keep gas tanks at least half full as this can help stop a freeze-up in the gas line.
- Drivers should watch the weather reports before getting behind the wheel.
Drivers Should Protect Themselves from a Potential Kansas City Car Accident
To protect oneself:
- Do not warm the vehicle up in an enclosed area, like a garage.
- Be sure to clear any ice and snow from the vehicle’s lights, mirrors, roof, and windows before driving and wait until the windows are clear of fog so that there will be decent visibility.
- Never drink or take drugs and get behind the wheel of a car.
- Drivers should be alert for pedestrians and other cars on the road.
- Everyone must wear a seatbelt and use child safety seats as necessary; remember that a rear-facing infant seat should not be placed in front of an airbag in the car. Children 12 years and younger are safer in the back seat of the car.
- Always slow down and increase following distance in adverse driving conditions.
- Drivers should avoid driving when they are fatigued, and should get proper rest before taking on the winter roads to reduce the likelihood of an accident.
- Never use cruise control on slippery surfaces.
- Drivers must look and steer where they wish to go.
- Never use the parking brake in snowy, wet, and cold weather
A Survival Kit for Winter Driving is Ideal for Preventing Kansas City Car Accidents
It is wise to keep a winter survival kit in the car. Essential supplies on hand can provide safety and comfort for a driver and passengers. The below items can be kept in the kit:
- Snow brush
- Ice scraper
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit
- Sand or some other kind of traction aid
- Chain or tow rope
- Batteries and flashlight
- Warning lights or road flares
- Bottled water
- Fire extinguisher
- Waterproof matches
- A small tool kit
- Non-perishable foods, such as juice and granola bars
- Extra footwear and warm clothing
- Candles and a small tin to hold the candles
Driving Tips for Cold Weather Conditions
Below are some tips for the winter months to help avoid the chances of getting into a Kansas City car accident:
- Always decelerate and accelerate slowly since it is the best method for gaining traction yet avoiding skids. Never rush, but rather take the time to slow down for a stoplight and keep in mind it can take longer to come to a stop on slippery roads.
- Be alert of other drivers and the actions of other drivers. Try to anticipate cars pulling out from side streets and place some extra distance between one’s own vehicle and the driver in front of one’s car. Never speed up if a car comes up too close, but rather slow down and let them go around the car.
- Always slow down in icy and snowy conditions and slowly make turns.
- If a driver can avoid it, they should not stop. Instead, if one can slow down enough to keep rolling until the light changes, that is a better option. But, never break a traffic law and always be aware of the surroundings.
- Drivers should know their brakes and keep a light touch on them. Even if a car has an anti-lock braking system, drivers must apply light pressure to avoid locking the brakes and causing the car to skid.
- Overpasses and bridges can freeze, so drivers should be on the lookout for black ice and areas that seem black and shiny where a car could lose traction. It is better to keep the foot off the brakes and slow down in such cases.
- Never power up hills, as it could cause the wheels to spin. Rather get some inertia going before getting to the top of the hill and let the inertia carry the car to the top of the hill.
- Try to keep clothing dry as wet clothing can result in lost body heat.
- If a driver gets stranded or stuck, they should try not to panic. Rather, they should remain with the car for warmth and safety and wait for help to arrive. The same goes for having a car accident in icy weather. Call for help and law enforcement.
Drivers Involved in a Kansas City Car Accident Should Seek Legal Assistance
While preparation is key for winter driving conditions, extreme temperatures can be hard on cars. Even if a driver checks the fluids and makes sure they keep their gas tank half-full, the radiator winterized, and that the car has enough windshield washing fluid, accidents can still happen.
If a person has been involved in a car accident in Kansas City, they may have suffered serious injuries. Recovering from the pain and stress of the accident can be stressful, and dealing with insurance companies and financial compensation may be furthest from the victim’s mind. The attorneys at Krause and Kinsman can help fight for fair and maximum settlement to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Contact us today for a consultation.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.