Bad winter weather can be both worrisome and dangerous for motor vehicle travel. Many Maine drivers are old pros at winter driving. However, overconfidence, in and of itself, can lead to an accident. Reviewing safe driving tips often, is a great way to help reduce your family’s risk of a car accident this winter. Our injury lawyers in Bangor and Portlandsurge you to make safe driving a regular topic of conversation with family members, particularly young drivers and our senior citizens, who are most at risk on the road.
The North Country Now reported on a young driver who did not know how to handle his vehicle on a slippery road. His inexperience caused his vehicle to slide into a Potsdam Police vehicle, there were no injuries. The young driver was charged with failure to keep right and speed not reasonable and prudent.
Maine’s Department of Transportation wants to remind all of us to be a ‘Road Model’ when driving on snowy and icy roads. The department urges drivers to be cautious around winter maintenance vehicles. Remember to never pass a snow plow; the road surface ahead of it will be in worse condition then what you are driving on. Give snow plows plenty of room, they often need to stop and change lanes. On-coming plows are usually plowing the centerline, so you will need to move to the right to give them room.
Let’s try to prevent a motor vehicle break down by following these Safercar winter driving safety tips:
-It is always a good idea to have your vehicle checked over by your mechanic before the winter season begins.
-The condition of your battery is very important because your battery power drops in cold temperatures. Make sure your voltage is sufficient because it takes more power to start your vehicle in colder weather.
-It is important to know that coolant freezes which would totally destroy your engine block. Have your mechanic check your coolant mixture to make sure that doesn’t happen.
-We all know how dirty our windows get in the winter. Keep your windshield washer reservoir filled at all times. It is a good idea to keep extra ‘no freeze’ fluid in your vehicle. Replace worn out or torn windshield wipers blades. Heavy duty blades will last longer in areas that get a lot of snow and ice.
-Have your snow tires installed in plenty of time, if you use them. If not, make sure your existing tires are properly inflated and have adequate tread depth. Good traction is vital when traveling on snow covered roads.
-You should know how your vehicle handles in winter weather; however, if your vehicle is new to you, practice before the big storm hits. If you get a few inches of snow go to a vacant parking lot and see how your vehicle handles. Know what kind of brakes you have, you apply steady pressure for anti-lock brakes and you gently pump others.
-If you must travel in bad winter weather check the weather forecast, traffic and road conditions. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going, and tell someone your route of travel and your estimated time of arrival. Try not to let your gas tank drop below half full. Keeping a full tank of fuel is extremely important if you should get stranded.
-Keep the following safety items in your vehicle during the winter months: blankets, extra clothes, snacks, charged cell phone, kitty litter (to help with traction), ice scraper, shovel, jumper cables, flashlight, and emergency warning signals.
When the forecast is calling for more snow this winter, be prepared if you find yourself driving on snow covered roads. The dangers of winter driving can be unpredictable so being prepared puts you ahead of the game.