Is Your Car Ready for Winter Driving?

Feb 3, 2015 | Auto Accidents

As February arrives, it may be tough for many of us to think about the fact that we still have plenty of winter weather still left to endure. Unfortunately, the conditions we may be facing in the weeks ahead can easily lead to car accidents.

More than one forecast for the Richmond, Virginia, area for 2015 calls for a colder and snowier season in February and into early March than is typical.

Since the Federal Highway Administration reports that about 25 percent of all car accidents are caused by adverse weather conditions, it is a good time to take stock of your vehicle’s winter road-worthiness.

If you have not done so already, the National Safety Council, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Car Care Council suggest getting your car in winter condition by:

  • Checking the ignition, brakes, wiring, hoses and fan belts.
  • Changing and adjusting the spark plugs.
  • Inspecting the distributor.
  • Checking the battery and charging system.
  • Checking the tires for proper air pressure, sidewall wear and tread depth and replacing any worn tires.
  • Checking windshield wipers and replacing them as necessary (usually twice per year) and replacing windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
  • Having the radiator system serviced, checking the antifreeze level yourself with an antifreeze tester and adding antifreeze as needed.
  • Having your technician check the fuel, air, transmission and emission filters and the PVC valve.
  • Making sure heaters and defrosters work properly.
  • Making sure your car has a properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod-type jack.
  • Considering a change to “winter weight” oil and being diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals.
  • Keeping the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

The National Safety Council also recommends compiling an emergency kit that remains in the car. It should consist of:

  • A shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow and tire chains
  • Salt or cat litter (to create friction if you get stuck in the snow or on ice)
  • Tool kit
  • Working flashlight and extra batteries
  • Reflective triangles and brightly-colored cloth
  • Compass
  • First aid kit
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Wooden stick matches in a waterproof container
  • Scissors and string/cord
  • Non-perishable, high energy foods like unsalted canned nuts, dried fruits and hard candy
  • A blanket, preferably wool
  • Drinking water (to bring with you when you drive so that it does not freeze in between trips).

If your car should happen to break down, and you become stranded, do not leave it unless you know exactly where you are and how far it is to get help. In other words, you should be certain that leaving will improve your situation and not expose you to danger.

You can run your engine as you wait for help to arrive. Just make sure the car’s exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow or ice. Depending on the amount of gas in the tank, you can then run the engine and heater for about 10 minutes every hour or so to stay warm.

Also, keep at least one window open slightly. Heavy snow and ice can seal a car shut.

Hopefully, by taking these steps, you will be able to avoid any problems that may arise or, at least, be able to deal with them in the best way possible. Shoudl you be injured in a collision that occured during a snow storm, you may need help navigating the claim with your insurance company – or the insurance provider of the vehicle that may have collided with you. For a free consultation, contact a car accident attorney in Richmond at Geoff McDonald & Associates.

Geoff McDonald and Associates: 804-888-8888.

FREE CONSULTATION

No Fees Unless We Win





    What Should I Do Immediately After a Virginia Truck Accident?

    The steps you should take immediately after a Virginia truck accident mirror those that you would take if you were in a standard car accident. But you should follow the steps carefully, as failure to do so could impact your ability to seek compensation for your...

    What You Should Ask for After an Accident with a Truck

    Navigating truck accidents is complicated because so many different parties could be involved in the accident, including: Truck driver Employer Mechanic Parts manufacturer Shipper   In some cases, you’ll be making a claim with the truck driver’s employer. If the...

    A Tractor Trailer Hit Me. Do I Need a Lawyer?

    If a tractor-trailer hit you, retaining a lawyer as soon as possible is the best course of action. This is not your classic car accident where you file a claim with the insurance company. Truck drivers often work for large trucking companies. Those companies have...

    Can I Sue a Truck Driver’s Company for My Injuries?

    Whether you can sue a truck driver’s company for your injuries will vary based on whether the driver is an independent contractor or a regular employee of the company. If the driver is an independent contractor, you’ll need to work with the driver’s...

    Is Brake Checking Illegal in Virginia?

    Yes, brake checking is illegal in Virginia and can come with a reckless driving charge. A reckless driving charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia, which is punishable with a $2,500 fine, possible license suspension, a chance of jail time, and serious increases in...

    Our Case Results

    $4,700,000
    Industrial Plant Accident

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Jeffrey A. Breit and Justin M. Sheldon Our client was killed in an industrial accident when an unauthorized worker was operating an overhead crane and pinned our client between…

    $1,750,000
    Rear-End Crash

    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial trauma, a dislocated hip and severe abdominal trauma when she was rear-ended at a traffic light by a tractor trailer. Suit was commenced shortly after…

    $1,250,000
    Assault of Log Truck Driver

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Geoffrey R. McDonald, Frank H. Hupfl, Justin M. Sheldon.
    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted and knocked to the ground while fueling his logging…

    $860,000
    Drunk Driving Crash

    Our client suffered neck/head trauma and a broken wrist after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver while he was stopped at a traffic light. Upon rejection of a settlement offer of $325,000, our litigation…

    $700,000
    Rear-End Collision

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Justin M. Sheldon and Geoff R. McDonald, Richmond
    GMA’s client was injured as a result of a rear-end collision in the greater Richmond area. The crash occurred a little after…

    Client Reviews

    Cheryl and Rich were wonderful and patient with me throughout the case. All of my questions were answered. They really helped me through this tough time and made sure to let me know what was going on. I really thank Geoff…

    Troy Saxby

    My experience with GMA staff was first rate. They always represented in a professional way and made sure I had everything as far as paperwork. Kara and Theo made sure to answer all my questions, was always available and so…

    Shirley Brown

    Geoff McDonald & Associates is the team that you want on the field if you’re in need of top notch legal defense! Mr. Taj Henley demonstrated true customer service skills and his expertise made me feel comfortable throughout the…

    Julian Reeves

    Geoff McDonald & Associates: Thank you Taj Henley for all of your hard work and dedication! Very expeditious in my case and I was very satisfied with my settlement. Will recommend to all my friends and family!

    Shareema Williams

    Geoff is number one in my book and I especially appreciate the support of Mr Henley

    Ebony Conwell

    I was so pleased with the knowledge and support from Mr. Taj Henley

    Kideem Frierson

    Thank you Geoff McDonald &Associates. A special thank you to Mr. Taj Henley

    Denise Conwell

    Mr. Taj Henley displays exceptional professionalism for Geoff McDonald & Associates, along with commendable communication skills and customer service. By his work ethic and commitment to the people he serves his value to any…

    Justin Fitzgerald