December 16, 2019 |
The Barnes Firm
Winter is here, officially arriving on December 21, 2019. With winter, even in Southern California, comes cooler temperatures and rain, as well as snow in the mountains. The mountains of Los Angeles County, Ventura Country, and San Bernardino County have already seen significant amounts of snowfall this year. The cooler temperatures, rain, wind, and snow are likely to continue throughout the winter, and these tips are designed to help you stay safe in Southern California.
Whether rain or snow is in the forecast where you live, these tips will help you drive safely all winter long.
- Always be sure your car is in tip top condition. Check your defroster, lights, windshield wipers, heater, and brakes to be sure they are performing as expected. Also, with cooler temperatures and precipitation, check your antifreeze and windshield washer (add a special solvent to prevent icing), and ensure your tires (spare included) have sufficient tread and are inflated properly.
- Don’t drive when tired or distracted. Stay alert, focusing on the road and limiting distractions (like your cell phone). Monitor the road and be aware of other drivers.
- Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or drugs (illegal, prescription, or over the counter).
- Always have an emergency road kit in your vehicle for safety, preparedness and peace of mind.
- Before any trip, check the weather forecast at storms.ca.gov as well as the road conditions at quickmap.dot.ca.gov. Knowing what to expect helps you plan a safer trip. Always keep your gas tank full in case you need to change your route or get caught in traffic.
- As you begin your trip, be sure everyone is wearing their seat belts and children are buckled safely into their properly installed child safety seats.
Driving in inclement weather requires extra precautions.
- When driving in snow, rain, fog, or overcast conditions, turn on your headlights.
- If you are driving in a downpour, drive in the middle lane as pooling occurs on outside lanes.
- Don’t use cruise control in wet weather or snowy conditions, as skidding might result.
- In both rain and snow, slow down and keep your distance from with other vehicles.
- If you do hydroplane or skid, don’t brake or turn sharply, take your foot off the gas and slow down, allowing your tires to regain traction. Turn your steering wheel in the direction of the skid, regain control and straighten up.
When heading to the mountains where snow abounds, follow these tips.
- Always carry chains that fit your tires and are in good condition. You’ll also want a flashlight and repair links.
- Have an ice scraper or deicer or both in your vehicle. Keep your windshield and windows clear.
- Have a broom to brush excess snow off your vehicle and a shovel to dig your car out if you get snowed in. You’ll also want sand or burlap for traction as well as a towel to clean your hands.
- Keep water, food, blankets and extra clothing in your car – just in case you encounter storm conditions or icy roads.
- Keep an extra car key in your pocket to avoid being locked out should you have to stop and put on your chains.
- Always allow extra time to reach your destination and drive at a speed appropriate for weather conditions.
Following these helpful Southern California winter weather driving tips will help you keep you safe all winter long from the coast to the mountains.
If you or a loved one are involved in a car accident during the winter season, make sure to contact the experienced team at The Barnes Firm.