The National Weather Service has issued a statement noting a powerful winter storm system will affect the region beginning Thursday, producing multiple hazardous weather impacts across much of Iowa. The strong winds on Thursday will significantly reduce visibility and drift the snow, resulting in very hazardous conditions regardless of snowfall amounts.
Iowa drivers are put to the test in the winter with the varying weather, and many forget to change their driving habits when snowfall hits, resulting in car accidents. Our attorneys at the Beattie Law Firm know some of these accidents can be prevented. If you must travel during the storm, we urge to take the time and prepare.
Remember your winter driving techniques:
- Allow more time to get to your destination
- Clean all snow and ice from the entire vehicle – hood, roof, trunk, lights and windows
- Keep your speed low and your headlights on low beam
- Increase your following distance between vehicles. Normal following distance is three to four seconds; following distance when driving in such conditions should be increased to eight to 10 seconds
- On highways, stay in the lane that has been cleared most recently and avoid changing lanes
- When approaching a hill, observe how other vehicles are reacting and keep far enough behind the vehicle immediately ahead so that you will not have to slow down or stop
Keep your vehicle and proper operating condition. From a mechanical aspect, winter conditions present the greatest challenge to your vehicle’s operating efficiency. If you are involved in a car accident due to a worn or defective part of your vehicle, you will be liable. Prepare your vehicle by checking the following items:
- Electrical system including battery, ignition system and lights – the battery is the heart of your vehicle, and cold weather requires a battery at full charge. A damaged ignition system could cause your car to suddenly break down, which could leave you stranded or become involved in a collision without any prior notice. It is critical to have working lights so other drivers can see you on the road.
- Brake system – the ability to slow your vehicle is critical in any driving environment, especially during winter driving.
- Tires – check your tire pressure and tire tread depth. Your tires determine how well your vehicle accelerates, turns and stops.
- Heating and cooling system – make sure your vehicle’s cooling system contains enough antifreeze to prevent freezing in the cold weather.
- Windshield wipers, washer, glass and vehicle exterior – clean windows offer optimal visibility in worsening conditions. If your wiper blades streak the windshield, they should be replaced.
Remember our advice if you must travel during the winter storm. We want to reduce your chances of being involved in a vehicular collision, but if you or someone you know becomes a victim, we at the Beattie Law Firm are here to help.