Many Californians living in the coastal areas get little exposure to driving in snowy conditions. This lack of practice can cause problems when driving in inland areas, especially the mountains. When visiting or vacationing in these places, drive safely and avoid a car accident using these six tips:

Bring Tire Chains and Know How to Use Them

Even if your driving skill and car are more than up to the task of traveling on snow-covered roads, sometimes chains are required. Look for “chain required” signs. The sign will show one of three categories of requirements:

  • R1 – chains are required for vehicles without snow tires.
  • R2 – if your vehicle isn’t four-wheel drive with snow tires, then chains are required.
  • R3 – chains are required for all vehicles regardless of their drive or tires.

Bring Plenty of Wiper Fluid

Driving behind other vehicles on treated roads means that a lot of road spray with salt or some other treatment residue will end up on your windshield. You will be constantly washing it off with your wipers. Bring plenty of wiper fluid. Otherwise, the residue buildup will obstruct your view of the road.

Keep Your Windshield Warm

This prevents windshield ice buildup and helps your wipers clear away snow and dirt. It also prevents fogging or frosting on the inside of the windshield.

Drive Smoothly

Snow-covered roads prevent good wheel traction, which means you can’t “pull Gs” with hard accelerations or sharp turns. Attempting this will cause skids. Your ABS brakes will do the smooth braking for you. If you don’t have ABS, then you will have to brake lightly using easy taps with your foot on the brake pedal.

Slow down and Look Further down the Road

Because the poor traction limits your steering and braking, you must drive slowly, increase your following distance, and start braking sooner than you normally would on dry pavement. This requires that you pay attention to what’s happening further down the road.

Don’t Brake or Swerve When on Ice

If you suddenly find yourself on a patch of ice, drive straight over it without attempting to turn, brake, or accelerate. Keep your tires pointing straight ahead. Your momentum will safely carry you past short ice patches.

If you need legal advice because of a car accident, our attorneys at Hogan Injury can help. Contact us today.


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