Stay Safe Winter Driving on Texas Roads

Winter Driving Dallas Texas Car Crash Lawyer

Winter Driving Tips to Avoid a Car Wreck and Stay Safe

The coldest temperature recorded in Dallas was -3 degrees.  That was back in January of 1930, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a handful of cold days every year.  In fact, there hasn’t been a year that went by where we haven’t seen temperatures below freezing at least once.  Just last year it dropped to 11 degrees shortly before Christmas.  Winter driving in Texas is rare, but not uncommon.

Sometimes those cold temperatures come with dry air and clear skies.  Sometimes, however, they come immediately following a bit of rain.  Then, things get slick and wrecks happen.  If you can avoid driving during those cold days, stay off the roads.  If you have to travel, the Car Crash Captain has a few safety tips so you can get to your destination safely.

Child Passenger Safety

Unless you have a child, you probably don’t consider child safety when driving.  Once you become a parent, suddenly it’s the most important part of hitting the road.  In the winter, when wrecks are more likely, it’s imperative to keep your little ones safe.

Use an approved, and unexpired, car seat.  Yes, car seats can expire.  There’s a tag on your car seat that shows when it was manufactured; the expiration date is six years later.  After a wreck, a car seat needs to be retired no matter how old it is.

Keep them rear-facing for as long as possible.  Risk of death or injury is reduced 75% when rear-facing.  Kids should stay facing backward as long as possible, with many experts saying up to four-years-old.

Kids should ride on the passenger side of the vehicle.  If you have multiple children, this isn’t possible, but with one, the car seat should go in the back seat, on the passenger side.  The biggest risk is a vehicle crossing the center line and striking your vehicle – this position keeps your kids as far from danger as possible.

Secure your gear in the trunk.  Items in your vehicle can become projectiles if you crash; more so if your vehicle rolls.  Keeping everything secured in the trunk keeps danger away from all occupants.

Emergency Preparedness When Winter Driving

Ice can be sneaky.  A thin layer over the top of the road can be virtually invisible when you’re coming toward it.  This black ice is slippery and can spin your vehicle right off the road.  A fortunate wreck avoids collision with other vehicles or objects, but it could leave you stranded for a period of time.  If the vehicle is disabled, running the heater isn’t an option.

Keep extra blankets in the trunk through the winter.  If there is room, you can even keep them on the back seat.

Keep extra clothing on hand when traveling.  You might not need a hat and gloves, or even a coat, when you’re dashing from a warm vehicle to a warm house.  But when it’s below freezing out there, and you have no means of staying warm, hypothermia is a real issue.

Disposable handwarmers can stave off frost-bite. If it’s 20 degrees out, frostbite can set in within minutes – especially if there’s a bit of wind.  Packing a handwarmer into your gloves or boots gives a little extra protection.

Food and water can literally save your life.  Water or Gatorade will freeze if left in the vehicle, but you can always make sure to grab a fresh one on your way out the door.  A handful of granola bars will stay fresh for a year, and can keep you alive until help arrives.

A flashlight and extra batteries can signal for help.  Dead batteries are useless, make sure you have fresh batteries in your flashlight.

Of course, all the other essentials of a vehicle emergency kit can stay in the car all year round.  Take a look at our previous article on taking a road trip and ensure that your kit is stocked, and you’re ready to travel.

Defensive Driving in the Winter

No matter what time of year, defensive driving keeps you safer on the road.  Defensive, in this sense, is the opposite of aggressive.  You’re on the lookout, and watching for other aggressors (which can be other drivers, weather, wildlife, or road conditions), and you’re ready to go on the defensive to avoid a wreck.

Allow extra time for your travels.  Slick roads mean slow down.  Slower travel time means it’s going to take you longer to arrive.  Don’t pressure yourself into driving faster than conditions allow because you’re running late.

Turn off the cruise control.  If you go into a slide, cruise control will still try to maintain a steady speed until you hit the brakes.  That extra second of acceleration can do serious damage.  Act faster without cruise on.

Expect ice on the bridges.  The ground usually keeps roadways a little bit warmer.  On bridges, there isn’t ground to radiate heat upward.  So, while the roads may be wet, the bridges can ice over.

Increase the distance between you and other vehicles.  If your car is sliding, it can’t stop as quickly.  Give a little extra room so if the vehicle ahead of you slows suddenly (or spins out) you can stop and avoid a crash.

Herbert Law Group Fights for You After a Texas Car Wreck

No matter how safe you are when winter driving, there will always be other drivers that aren’t as safe as you.  Their negligence can lead to your injury.

If you’re involved in a wreck, and you’re injured or a loved one is killed, you don’t have to suffer through the process alone.  Herbert Law Group is here to ensure that you’re treated fairly by the insurance companies, and you receive a settlement that allows you to heal.

Let’s talk about what happened, and come up with a plan to get you back on your feet.  Call our office at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site and we’ll be in touch with you.  There’s no obligation, we first have to see how we can help.