7 Winter Driving Tips for Traveling in California – Stay Safe in Snow, Sleet, or other Wintery Conditions
Winter driving requires different safety precautions.
Unless you grew up in the Midwest or East Coast, you most likely aren’t used to winter driving. Afterall, the average total snowfall in the city of Los Angeles is 0 inches.
Even though the beaches of Venice and Santa Monica may stay clear from snow, many Californians will travel to Big Bear, Tahoe or Mammoth for winter activities.
While SoCal residents are used to driving sun filled freeways from Hollywood to Sherman Oaks, the mountains in Big Bear may be the opposite, with winter driving conditions like snow more prevalent.
Driving in the snow is a completely different animal. Traveling in wintery conditions can be extremely dangerous, especially if you aren’t used to traveling in such a climate.
According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, there are multiple winter weather possibilities, including:
Snow – flakes of snow can fall at various levels, from flurries that don’t amount to any accumulation, to Blizzards that drop heavy amounts on an area.
Sleet – this winter weather falls when snowflakes partially melt as they fall, and then refreeze before they reach the ground.
Freezing rain – occurs after snowflakes head into a warm layer of air and completely melt.
The California Department of Transportation lists many different ways to stay safe if you travel snow filled areas:
All vehicles should carry chains when traveling during snowy weather. If you don’t have chains, you may not be able to proceed to your destination.
Allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Snowfall and other winter weather can greatly impact travel times. 24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement.
Get your vehicle ready for winter: check antifreeze, windshield wipers, your car’s heater and tires.
Check road conditions before traveling to ensure you can leave early enough to get to your spot.
Slow down! Posted speed limits can be altered by wintery conditions. Driving slower can decrease your chances of a major car accident.
Be observant of other vehicles.
Travel with an ice scraper and snow shovel in case your vehicle gets stuck. Other important items you should bring include:
- Spare key
It’s important to remember that just because you take all the necessary precautions for winter driving doesn’t mean others will. There are many reckless drivers who either decide to ignore safety, or are just ignorant to the dangers of winter driving. Be alert when traveling in wintery conditions.
It’s also very easy to lose control of your vehicle during icy or snowy conditions. In order to help maintain control:
- Slow down before turning
- Don’t brake during the actual turn
- If you do skid out, turn into the skid to try regaining control
- Don’t power uphill – your wheels may spin
- Don’t stop when going uphill
Winter weather doesn’t only include snow. Rainy conditions are common as well, especially in cities with milder climates like Los Angeles. They can contribute to dangerous winter driving.
Studies show that 21 percent of drivers involved in crashes on wet roadways suffered fatal injuries. The US Department of Transportation reports nearly 5,700 people are killed annually on wet pavements.
A winter driving accident could lead to serious injuries, including:
- Injuries to the neck or head, such as whiplash or a concussion
- Broken bones
- Fractures, sprains and strains
- Injuries to the back or spinal cord, such as fractured vertebrae or herniated discs
- Severe cuts that scar and disfigure
- Lacerations that dig deep than the skin, and split through muscles or nerves
- Internal organ injuries to your heart, liver, kidneys, etc.
- Internal hemorrhaging.
- Wrongful death
If you were involved in a car accident due to winter related conditions, our Los Angeles accident attorneys at C&B Law Group may be able to help. We have an incredible track record of settling 99% of our injury cases.
If a negligent driver hit your during a winter storm leading to an injury, we will try to recover damages including:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills, both past and present
- Pain and suffering
Our team works on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t pay us an attorney fee until we successfully settle your case. Your initial consultation with our team is free as well.
Don’t let a winter driving accident bog you down. Contact a Los Angeles accident attorney today!