With winter approaching, unsafe road conditions are imminent. Winter brings with it ice, snow and sleet, all of which make driving more dangerous and more difficult. Keep in mind that there are precautions you can take to keep you and your family safe when venturing out onto the slick roads. Of course the safest route is to avoid driving when the road conditions are less than ideal; however, that is not always an option.


It is recommended that if possible, you wait until the snow plows and salt trucks have made their way through. Always give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Be aware of the weather forecast when you have to travel and don't drive too fast. It is also important to drive defensively because even if you are practicing safe winter driving, the person next to you may not be, and you want to be prepared if another car starts sliding your direction.


Be prepared with a winter weather survival kit. This should include:

  • Ice scraper
  • Shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlights (and extra batteries)
  • Sand or cat litter to put under your wheels if you need to get traction
  • Blankets
  • Non-perishable food
  • First aid kit
  • Matches, candles, and/or flares
  • Rope or chain for towing
  • Extra winter accessories such as gloves, socks, and a cap.
  • Rain gear
  • Pliers, wrench, screwdriver, or other small tools
  • Bottled water


Having the above items in your car at all times will keep you safe and warm should you get stranded in your car in the winter weather. Before you go anywhere, you should also make sure that your car is properly winterized, which can be done by ensuring that you have fresh antifreeze, a good battery, and clean oil. Check your exhaust system, brakes, fluids, and tire pressure and tread. It is also recommended that you keep your gas tank at least half full.


Remember that you need extra room to stop when driving in ice and snow so leave extra space between you and the car in front of you. Your wheels are less likely to spin if you use your gas gently. Your tires are less likely to skid and lock up if you brake gently. If your wheels do start to lock up, though, slowly let off of the brake. Keep your visibility clear - make sure you clean your windshield, windows, mirrors, and lights, and make sure you use your headlights.


You should drive in low gear so that you don't lose traction, especially when traveling on hills. You should never use cruise control when driving on slick road conditions. Remember that bridges and overpasses generally freeze first so drive with extra caution on those parts of the road. You should never pass snowplows or salting trucks. If you do not feel safe or comfortable driving, don't do it.


If you've been seriously injured, protect your well being first and then your rights. The experienced attorneys at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys bring decades of experience successfully fighting for clients against major corporations and insurance companies in numerous cases resulting in significant settlements and verdicts. Let us handle all of the details while you concentrate on what is most important - your recovery.

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.