“Winter Mix” Causes Hundreds Of Accidents
Often Texans are mocked for making a big deal out of fairly mild winter weather conditions. Schools shut down, businesses close and buses stop running. Residents of other states might scoff upon hearing that this is all what results from just an inch of snow. However, because of Texas’ generally mild weather the state has little supplies for or practice in responding to harsher weather. Last night with temperatures dipping into record lows and a combination of snow and ice passing through most of Central Texas, an unsurprising 250 car crashes were reported. This “winter mix” brought both a 13 and 20 car pile up last night and the closing of several highway ramps. The University was also closed for the day due to the icy roads, and officials urged city residents to stay off the roads. Unfortunately not everyone got a snow day. What can you do if you are still required to drive in these sorts of conditions?
Winter Weather Driving Tips
Often Texas residents are underprepared for driving on icy or snow-covered roads. There’s rarely any need for seasonal tire changes, and all-season tires supply little traction when met with icy roads. In addition to this Texas road crews don’t usually have the salt trucks, snowplows and other winter service vehicles needed to clear and de-ice roads. Accordingly, driving anywhere becomes a slippery, dangerous feat. Avoid it when you can, and when you can’t keep the following in mind!
Cleared windows are crucial. Make sure to fully remove any ice or snow covering your windshields before you begin driving. Loose snow can be removed a number of ways, usually with a brush and sometimes with a broom! If you know to expect snow laying a snow cover on the windshield the night before can make for a very easy removal in the morning. It is easiest to remove ice with a strong ice scraper. Sometimes a mixture of vinegar or rubbing alcohol and water can help speed things up. Never pour hot water over an iced windshield as it can cause the glass to crack.
It’s the law. Buckle up! Probably one of the easiest and most important things you can do when driving in dangerous conditions is to keep you and your family safe by wearing seatbelts. There’s never a good enough excuse not to, buckle up!
Reduce your speed considerably. No matter what sort of rush you’re in, driving fast on slick roads is a recipe for disaster. Generally keeping at a speed under 30 mph (even on the highways) is safest. Gently ease on both your gas and break. If you’re stopped at a light accelerating quickly is a sure way to fishtail and lose control of your vehicle. Stay a very safe distance from the car in front of you. Anticipate that the time it takes to fully stop your vehicle will increase and break accordingly.
Be extra cautious on bridges, ramps and shaded areas. These are most likely to ice, and it will rarely be readily visible to you.
If you do lose control of your vehicle and it begins to slide, steer gently into the slide (instead of jerking the wheel and overcorrecting) and avoid stepping on either the gas or break.
If you are involved in any sort of car accident call the Loewy Law Firm and get the legal help you need. Drive safely, or better yet, stay home!