Winter Driving for Georgians
We are fortunate enough in Georgia to enjoy a generally mild climate year round. However, this also means that many of us are not experienced in knowing how to drive in winter weather. When snow, sleet, freezing rain, and other hazardous conditions do come our way, being prepared for winter driving can help you avoid or prevent a serious accident.Tips for Driving Safely in Winter Weather
Not driving during inclement weather is your best bet to stay safe. However, if you must drive in inclement weather, or if the forecast predicts winter precipitation, consider taking the following precautions:
- Before driving, completely remove snow and ice from your windows, and keep your windows clear. Many winter car accidents are caused by “peep hole” driving, which is when a driver clears only a small area of the windshield or other windows.
- Once you are on the road, get a feel for the roadway surface by testing your brakes gently and slightly turning the wheel.
- Slow down gradually when you come to an intersection, stop sign, or turn.
- Keep extra distance between you and other vehicles. One of the main causes of accidents during winter driving is drivers following each other too closely and not allowing enough distance to safely come to a stop in light of the icy or slippery road conditions.
- Reduce your speed according to the weather conditions. It may be necessary to drive at a much slower speed than the posted speed limit.
- Watch ahead for changing road conditions, such as icy bridges or overpasses.
- Pay special attention to changes in roadway elevation. Driving on icy hills in the north Georgia area can be particularly dangerous. Try to not stop while going uphill. Similarly, don't try to press the gas too much to go up an icy hill. This will only makes your wheels spin. It is best to proceed up an icy hill in a slow and deliberate speed.
Here are some additional suggestions from the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS):
- Follow a routine maintenance schedule for your vehicle.
- Check your battery, especially if you have not replaced it in some time.
- Check your heating and cooling system.
- Fill your windshield washer reservoir.
- Check your windshield wipers and defrosters.
- Prevent pedal interference by making sure your floor mats are installed properly.
- Inspect your tires, and check your tire pressure.
- Check the age of your tires.
- Know your car, and pay attention if it acts differently.
- Plan your travel and route before you go out on winter roads.
- Stock your vehicle with necessary tools and emergency supplies such as snow shovels and blankets.
- Make sure you have a full tank of gas.
While winter driving conditions may be a factor in causing a collision, weather is not an excuse for making poor decisions behind the wheel. If another driver’s negligence or recklessness resulted in your auto accident injury, contact the legal team at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC in Atlanta for a free initial consultation at (404) 460-0101. We can help you obtain fair compensation from insurance companies and at-fault parties.