With Winter Months Fast Approaching Here are Some Common Winter Driving Myths 

Myth: Hit the road and go!

 

Reality: Smart travelers get their car a full tune-up and inspection before traveling, especially in the winter. Be safe rather than sorry and get everything looked at by a professional before you leave. Your car may be prepared for current surroundings, but keep in mind the road ahead. Details like remembering  to fill up the antifreeze, washer fluid and tire pressure can make or break a road trip.

Myth: Gas mileage for cars is consistent anytime of year.

 

Reality: Gas mileage decreases with cold weather. Avoid getting stuck 60 miles from the next gas station on long stretches of rural driving and plan before you leave. Keep an eye on how much gas your car is using as the temperature starts to drop.

Myth: Not everyone needs an emergency kit in your car.

 

Reality: Winter storms occur quickly and often unpredictably. The roads are almost always worse than they appear. Don’t get stuck unprepared. Pack a good emergency road kit. Include clean water, blankets, granola bars, car jumper cables, a map (in case your GPS capability fails you), a flashlight with spare batteries, and a snow/ice remover.

Myth: A car with front-wheel drive is enough on icy or snow covered roads.

 

Reality: Driving on winter roads is treacherous and often requires increased tire traction. If you’re traveling through extremely harsh weather, make sure you have tire chains available and know how and when to put them on. Practice putting on tire chains before you leave for your trip. Also bear in mind that some places outlaw tire-chains because of the road damage they cause. Check local laws before you outfit your tires.

Myth: When you hit an icy patch steer away from it to regain control.

 

Reality: You want to steer into the skid to resume control. Attempting to steer directly out of a skid will cause your car to fishtail. Avoid making a bad situation worse by remaining calm and steering into the skid and then slowly redirecting your car onto the right path.

Myth: Hit your breaks to stop your car on icy roads.

 

Reality: Holding your breaks will cause them to lock and you will continue to slide. It’s easy to panic and slam on the breaks if you hit a patch of ice. The car’s momentum will keep it sliding on the ice. To best stop your car from moving on ice, calmly and repeatedly tap your breaks.

Myth: Flip on your brights to light the way.

 

Reality: Turning on your brights in the snow or fog intensifies the glare. Most people want to turn on their brights to help visibility during a storm. But, turning on your brights in snow or fog intensifies the glare and actually makes it harder to see. You should keep your low beams on and try to find a safe place to pull over until the storm lessens.

Take time this winter season to practice safe travel. You may think getting to your destination as quickly as possible is your number one goal, but you want to get there safely. Review these winter driving myths as as the facts to better prepare you and your passengers for a safer trip. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an auto accident, call us today, we’re here to help. We offer free case evaluations always and our 20 years of serving the Carolinas shows that we are committed to customer service and getting injured victims the compensation they deserve.

Written by Ashley Shifflett, Case Manager, Gastonia Office, Campbell & Associates, Attorneys at Law.