Top 10 tips for driving on Alabama’s winter roads

Winter driving can be daunting the first time you head into the snow. Preparing your vehicle for a winter road trip is a vital way to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Below we have compiled the top 10 winter driving tips to give you a safe and stress-free driving experience this winter.

 

 Take fifteen minutes to do a pre-trip inspection.  Check your anti-freeze levels, heater, defroster and wipers. Put weather appropriate washer fluid (anti-ice) in your car and keep an ice scraper handy. Also, make sure that your tires are properly inflated and consider purchasing a set of winter tires. The improved performance you get out of the softer rubber in colder temperatures is worth the investment.

Carry chains even if the forecast is clear.  Cold weather patterns can be unpredictable, and you never know when you might need an impromptu tow to get out of a bad spot from a helping hand on the side of the road.

Leave your AM band on your radio tuned to the local highway advisory radio station.  It will keep you up to date on changes in road conditions. You also might consider installing a weather app on your smart phone. Just be sure not to check it while driving, be sure to have a passenger notify you of road updates.  Before you leave, you may also check out the Alabama Department of Transportation’s page for road conditions and road advisories.

Pack some energy bars, warm clothing, water, blankets and candles in case of breakdown or if you get snowed in by poor visibility and are too low on fuel to keep the motor running for heat.

Have alternate routes or a GPS handy in case of road closures.  This can happen quite frequently when cold and icy weather develops. Always know your way around, and keep your gas tank full.  Bridges and overpasses may be closed.  The overpasses on Memorial Parkway (US 231) and the elevated portions of I-565 are usually the first roads to close.  The main roads are usually the first roads cleared by the road crews to become passable.  Out in the county, county roads and secondary roads may be slick and dangerous or covered with snow and ice.

Resist any temptation to out run a storm by speeding and do not let other drivers intimidate you by tailgating in order to get you to speed up. Maintain a consistent a safe consistent speed without violating any laws.

Depart early on your road trip.  Get as much daytime driving as you can, and allow yourself additional time to reach your destination. Winter driving can be rugged during the day, but it is treacherous at night.

Watch out for black ice, especially on bridges and roads near bodies of water.  Black ice is a thin glaze that forms on roads.  It is dangerous because it can be invisible or transparent.

Keep a safe distance, at least 2-4 seconds stopping time from other motorists. Stopping quickly on snow or ice takes much longer on winter roads, so make sure you leave some space.

Do not push past your limits or skill level. Pull over to a rest area to wait out the storm or spend the night relaxing at the nearest motel.  In some cases, it is best to avoid driving altogether when roads are hazardous.

 

No matter how careful you are, you still might find yourself injured in an accident.  If that happens you may need an attorney for help – help in covering your medical bills, help in collecting your lost income, and help dealing with the insurance companies.  If you are injured in an accident in Huntsville, and your financial recovery depends on your lawyer’s understanding of the law, then you will want a proven law firm with the experience of Morris, King & Hodge, P.C.