Alabama's Personal Injury Lawyer
Alabama's Personal Injury Lawyer

Driving in Alabama During Winter Weather

While snowmobiling, ice skating, and making snowmen are all delightful winter pastimes, winter weather can make one of the most fundamental everyday activities — driving — significantly more dangerous. We've compiled a list of winter driving guidelines for all Alabama motorists.

Because Alabama is so far south, many believe that winter weather driving doesn’t differ from summer conditions. However, the cold season in Alabama lasts for about three months from December to mid-March with an average daily high temperature below 40°F. The coldest month in Alabama is January with an average daily low of 20°F and a high of 32°F.  The result is freezing conditions that can lead to snow and ice on the roads.

Look Out For Slick Roads

Wet and slick roads can result from even mild winter weather. While ice is the most visible cause of slick roads, the moisture caused by both fresh and melting snow also contributes to their slickness. Braking becomes more difficult when the roadways are wet and slick. In fact, stopping a car on a wet or slick road might take up to ten times longer. As such, leave plenty of room to brake safely and always be aware of your options should an emergency arise.

Beware of Low Visibility

A small snowstorm, sleet storm, or sheet of freezing rain can restrict your visibility in the same way as torrential rains do. You have less time to react to traffic hazards when you can't see them clearly.

Even when it isn't snowing, winter can impair visibility. It's winter, which means it's freezing outside your automobile. The air inside the automobile warms up when the heating is turned on (or even when you breathe normally). A foggy windshield can be caused by a temperature difference between the inside and outside. It's even more difficult to see the road through a foggy windshield.

In addition, because winter days are shorter, nighttime begins much earlier. This means more night driving, which limits visibility even further.

Be Cautious of Human Error

While the winter weather is problematic, humans contribute to the risk in a variety of ways. Many folks are simply unprepared to drive in the cold. Worse, some folks who have never understood the fundamentals of winter driving presume they do. This assumption can lead to harmful driver error and automobile wrecks.

Some people, on the other hand, fear driving in snowy circumstances. As a result, some individuals overcorrect by driving excessively slowly. Though they may have excellent intentions, overly cautious techniques like these put others in danger.

Tips to Remember

Drive At The Right Speed

On slick roads, you can easily hydroplane or slide if you drive too fast. To avoid this, the federal government advises drivers to reduce their speed by 1/3 the posted speed limit on wet roads and by 1/2 or more in snowy conditions. By example, if the posted limit is 30 mph, drivers should restrict their speed to 20 mph on wet roads and 15 mph in the snow. Slowing down can assist you in navigating the dangers safely.

Take It Easy

When you need to accelerate on a snowy road, do so carefully to avoid spinning your wheels.  Gently press down on the gas pedal to maintain constant traction with the road until you achieve your desired speed.

Use Your Brakes Correctly

It's not a good idea to slam on the brakes on a slick road, even with anti-lock braking technology. When you come to an abrupt stop on a slick surface, your automobile may spin out of control.

Instead of slamming on the brakes, gently pump them to assist you in properly stopping—constantly checking to confirm that your wheels have continuous traction as you slow down. Anti-lock braking works on wet and dry surfaces but may be less effective on snow and ice.

If your automobile has anti-lock brakes, instead of pumping your brakes, you may need to maintain firm pressure. Be sure to confer with your owner's manual for the safest way to brake.

Replace Windshield Wipers Annually

Functional windshield wipers are a critical to allow maximum visibility during snow or rain. Wipers are made of rubber, which is degradable and becomes less effective over time. You should check your wipers regularly and replace them if you notice any damage or excessive wear.

Count on Mezrano Law Firm

If you or a loved one has sustained an injury in a crash this winter, contact an experienced car accident lawyer at Mezrano Law Firm to determine the best legal strategy for your case. Mezrano Law Firm wants to be your first call. Our experienced Alabama slip and fall lawyers protect the rights of the injured throughout the state. We have offices in Birmingham, Florence, Gadsden, Mobile, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa to serve you. Schedule your free initial consultation to discuss your case by calling 205-654-8017 or filling out our contact form.

If you have a case, you have a lawyer. Call us now to learn more about what we can do for you.

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