Austin Winter Driving Tips
Austin & Waco Winter Driving Tips to Keep You Safe
While many drivers in the Austin and Waco area of Texas may not have to worry about the significant snowstorms seen in some other parts of the country, this doesn’t mean winter driving carries no risks.
When snowy and icy conditions hit Central Texas, many drivers are unsure how to handle slippery road conditions. Even if the temperature stays above freezing, winter fog and rainstorms can make driving more hazardous. Shorter winter days also mean more drivers commute in the dark.
Knowing how to handle the winter risks is important to ensure you get through the season safely. Listed below are some tips for safe winter driving in Central Texas.
Listen to Texas Weather Reports
Listen to weather reports for warnings about snow and ice. If there is news of bad weather coming, consider staying home to avoid the risks. If you must travel somewhere when snow is falling or ice is on the ground, leave plenty of time and slow down to account for the dangers of ice on the roads and reduced visibility. In bad weather, you may need to drive below the speed limit to be safe for current conditions.
Bridges and Overpasses Get Icy in Austin and Waco
Be aware that bridges and overpasses are more likely to get icy. If the temperature falls to freezing or close to it, bridges and overpasses may be among the first areas where ice will form. Slow down as you approach these areas to ensure the pavement isn’t slick.
What Should I do if My Vehicle Starts to Skid?
Know how to react if your vehicle starts to skid. You should never slam on the brakes, as this only makes things worse. Ease off of the accelerator and keep your eyes focused on a target in the distance, keeping clam and trying to steer the car back on course towards that target. Pump the brakes very lightly to try to get back on track.
Do My Tires Change in Cold Weather?
Check your tires. Hot weather can cause your tires to be overinflated and very cold weather can cause tires to be dangerously underinflated. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to find out the ideal pressure and learn whether your vehicle has a tire pressure monitoring system that will alert you to problems.
How Much Space Should I Leave Between My Car and the Car in Front of Me?
Leave more space between your vehicle and the car in front. It takes longer to stop on pavement that has been made slick by rain, ice or snow. You don’t want to be so close to the car in front of you that you are not able to stop if your vehicle skids. This is especially important at night, as motorists in the dark can only see around 160 feet ahead of them when using their headlights and may not see an obstacle until they are close to it.
Does Driving at Night Make it Worse?
Pay extra attention when driving home at night. Research has indicated that the end of daylight saving time costs approximately 525 lives each year because the reduction in crashes in the morning when it is light earlier doesn’t make up for the increase in evening accidents after the clocks are set back. This may be because people are more tired in the evening and less likely to pay the extra attention they need in the waning light.
What Do I Do If I See an Animal While Driving?
Be aware of deer and other animals on the roads. Texas consistently ranks as one of the top 10 states for deer collisions. In winter, deer may be more likely to be found on the roads as they look for food sources and as they mate during the fall and winter season. Be prepared to brake if you see a deer, and if a deer is frozen in your head lights, sound your horn with a long beep to prompt the deer to move from your path. Remember, too, that deer are most active two hours after dawn and two hours before sunset. Deer move in groups, so if you see one there are probably more around.
Despite following safe winter driving practices, some motorists in Texas will be unable to avoid accidents caused by other drivers’ carelessness. If you are hurt in a crash caused by someone else, The Bob Richardson Law Firm can help you secure the compensation you deserve.
Call us now or fill out our online contact form for a free claim review and advice about your legal options. We charge no attorney’s fees unless and until we recover compensation for you.
- TXDOT – Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Highlights Calendar Year 2012