The holiday season is one of the happiest times of the year. It is a time to strengthen bonds with those we love and visit family and friends we’ve missed all year. However, the holiday season is a time of added risk on the roads, from drunk and tired drivers to dangerous winter weather.
If you are the victim of a car accident this holiday season, contact the car accident lawyers in Montgomery at The Vance Law Firm. We can help you understand your legal rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Stay safe during the holidays and familiarize yourself with tips for handling icy roads if you plan to travel out of town.
Over the past six years, an average of 3,216 Americans died in December car collisions. Around Christmas and New Year’s, drunk driving spikes, increasing the risk of holiday driving. Combined with holiday stress, fatigue from driving long distances, and icy conditions, more people die in car accidents this time of year than in any other month.
If you are used to driving on Alabama roads in the winter, you may need to shift driving techniques when you travel to a colder or snowier part of the country this holiday season. 24% of all weather-related car crashes in the United States each year are caused by driving in snowy or slushy conditions.
Driving conditions are radically different in snow and ice, and the best way to drive safely is to prepare in advance.
Though driving in the snow and ice can be more dangerous than usual, you can take steps to drive as safely as possible and lower your risk of an accident. These steps include winterizing your car and implementing safe driving techniques.
Prepare your vehicle before winter starts. Take your car to a mechanic to ensure it is in top working condition, paying particular attention to whether its fluids, battery, and tires are ready for the winter. Pack an emergency kit in your car with blankets, an ice scraper, snacks, and drinking water in case you get stuck in the snow.
When driving in the snow and ice, double the following distance between your vehicle and the car in front and go slower than the posted speed limit. Drive in lower gears to give you more torque and traction with slush or ice on the ground.
If your car has a winter mode, engage it. Test the road conditions before you drive and err on the side of driving slowly and cautiously.
Many people travel long distances by car around the holiday season. Long journeys on the road can lead to fatigue and highway hypnosis, increasing the likelihood of an accident due to poor reaction time or falling asleep at the wheel.
If you feel your attention slipping, take a 15-minute rest break, and if you are still fatigued, stop driving for the day.
Additionally, minimize distractions in the car, such as electronics, food, or noise. Nine
When you brake in snowy weather, apply pressure gradually to prevent the tires from locking up and sliding. If you have anti-lock brakes, keep your foot on the pedal and avoid pumping them. The ABS will regulate the brake pressure to prevent you from skidding on visible or black ice.
You can take steps during cold conditions to prepare your car for the elements. Winter maintenance includes changing your tires, winterizing your fluids, and driving with a full tank of gas.
Schedule a visit to a trusted mechanic and get your car serviced before winter. They can help you choose the right fluids and preventative maintenance steps to get your car ready.
For example, your mechanic can put the right mix of antifreeze and water in the radiator or reservoir to prevent freezing. They can also check your tire tread and change the oil so your vehicle functions at peak performance.
Tires are possibly the most crucial equipment on your car in the winter. Have all-weather or winter tires installed on your vehicle before going out of town. Ensure your tires have at least 5/32 or 6/32 of an inch tread before driving in icy and snowy conditions.
Winter wipers are made of a special heavy silicone-based rubber that prevents ice from forming on the blade. These blades are effective at removing snow and ice due to their heavier construction, making them ideal for driving in snowstorms or icy weather.
Aim to keep your gas tank at least half full when driving in the winter. Gasoline stops condensation and ensures the air pump cools the car effectively. This is vital in the winter when ice can cause corrosion or freeze fuel lines, preventing fuel from reaching your engine and causing you to stall out.
A full gas tank can also help you maintain traction on the road. A full to half-full fuel tank adds extra pounds to your car and helps your tires grip the asphalt. Keep your tank at least half full all winter, and consider adding a few sandbags over your rear tires if you find them slipping as you drive.
If you have been in a winter-related car accident that’s not your fault, contact The Vance Law Firm to get the legal representation you need. We help collision victims seek a fair settlement to help pay for medical bills and accident-related expenses incurred in a crash.