As the weather shifts from fall to winter, it is important to be aware of the new driving hazards you will encounter. Mornings will begin with frost, snow, and ice on your car, and by the time you leave work, you might be scraping ice off your windshield again to drive home in darkness. Bearing this in mind, it is important to adjust your driving habits to accommodate the change in seasons.
The basics are simple: increase your stopping distance and decrease your speed in the winter when conditions aren't favorable. If it's snowing, give yourself extra time to drive. It's important to remember that not all ice can be seen; even if the road looks drivable, be cautious of ice and black ice when the temperature is below freezing.
More so than just snow and ice, you should be aware of the change in visibility. Even when you take the time to de-ice your windows and mirrors, you have no way of knowing if everyone else on the road is doing the same. This time of year is a good time to check your headlights. The brightness of your headlights can diminish over time, even if the bulbs themselves haven't burnt out yet. Try to be mindful of this as you navigate darker roadways.
Speaking of headlights, don't forget that your headlights should be used more than just at night. Nowadays, most cars have daytime running lights, but not all of them do. If the weather is rainy, gray, misty, or snowing, you should be using your headlights to increase your visibility and caution other drivers on the road.
Cold weather brings battery malfunctions -- if your car's battery is more than three years old, it may have difficulty starting your car in low temperatures. Keeping jumper cables in your car can help give your battery or someone else's the jolt it needs to continue on.
The cold and ice of winter are dangerous to your car but it also poses a danger to you. If misfortune strikes and you are stranded in your vehicle, having the added warmth of an extra coat, blankets, or an emergency car kit can be life-saving. Adding these items to your car is a simple way to be prepared for the unknown.
If you do fall victim to a car accident, especially if you suffer an injury, you may want to seek the advice of an attorney. Dugan & Associates are Pittsburgh's car accident attorneys, with the expertise to get you the compensation you deserve in your time of need. If you have questions, contact us for a consultation.