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Stay Safe: Winter Weather Driving Tips

This year’s cold temperatures and winter weather pose a safety hazard to Georgia drivers. Even experienced drivers may have difficulty when driving in ice and snow. An Ackworth woman recently lost her life after skidding on an icy road. A Newnan man sustained serious injuries after losing control of his vehicle on a patch of ice. And, twenty-seven cars were involved in an ice-related crash outside the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport. 
  
The car wreck attorneys at the Law Offices of Shane Smith have compiled a list of winter driving tips to help keep you safe this winter.
 
1. When the weather is icy, stay home.
If you can, avoid going out. This is the best way to avoid the risk of crashing on icy roads or being stranded in the cold.
  
2. If you do have to drive, give driving your full attention.
Drive cautiously with both hands on the wheel, so you are ready if the road becomes unexpectedly slippery. Avoid distracted driving. Don’t use your cell phone. Your life is more important than any phone call. 
  
3. Bring your cell phone.
Keep your cell phone with you in case of an emergency. State Troopers advise that drivers who are out in winter weather conditions have at least a half tank of gas and carry a freshly-charged cell phone, warm clothes and a blanket, a snack, and a working flashlight in their vehicle.
  
If you are stranded during severe weather, it may take emergency services a while to get to you. Be prepared to stay warm while you wait.
  
4. Drive slowly.
When the weather is severe, leave early so you have plenty of time to get to your destination. Driving too fast for weather conditions is a major cause of accidents. Even driving at normal speeds can cause you to slide on ice and lose control of your vehicle.       
  
5. Don't tailgate or follow too close.
Chain-reaction crashes occur when cars are bunched closely together, especially when they are traveling at higher speeds. Slow down and give yourself a safety cushion.
  
6. Turn off the cruise control
Cruise control is designed for normal driving conditions. When driving on ice, snow, or slush, cruise control can cause wheel-spin and loss of control of your vehicle.
  
7.  Give yourself plenty of stopping space.
When you need to stop at a stop light or stop sign, slow down and gradually come to a stop. Sudden braking can cause you to slide.
  
8. If you slide, don't slam on the brakes.
Tap the breaks on and off until you regain control. Sudden braking will only eliminate what little traction you have. 
  
9. If you do skid, these tips can help you keep from crashing.
If the rear wheels lose traction and you over steer, AAA suggests these steps to help you regain control of your vehicle.
Continue to look at your path of travel down the road.
Steer in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go.
Avoid slamming on the brakes. 
When the rear wheels stop skidding, continue to steer to avoid a rear-wheel skid in the opposite direction.
  
If it is your front wheels that skid, AAA recommends these additional steps:
Wait for the front wheels to grip the road again. As soon as traction returns, the vehicle will start to steer again.
When the front wheels have regained their grip, steer the wheels gently in the desired direction of travel.
 
If you are involved in an traffic accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the Offices of Shane Smith.  We specialize in representing Atlanta drivers.  Call 770-HURT-999 for a free consultation.

Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia