According to the Washington Post, the District gets about 13.7 inches of snow and ice yearly. Although this amount varies from year to year, Washington, D.C., has more than enough to make it rough on motorists and pedestrians. Along with obeying the rules for getting around and watching for black ice, being prepared for winter auto safety is important.
Regulations for Winter Auto Safety
In preparation for the winter season, Washington, D.C., has specific regulations governing the use of winter tires. When road conditions warrant, drivers must use winter or all-season tires, although chains are not required.
Snow Emergency Declarations
During severe winter storms, the Mayor of Washington, D.C., may declare a snow emergency. This declaration has various restrictions and parking regulations designed to facilitate snow removal operations. Violating snow emergency regulations can result in towing and fines.
Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter
- Winter Tires: One of the most effective ways to enhance winter auto safety is to use proper winter or all-season tires. These tires are designed to provide better traction on snowy and icy roads, reducing the risk of accidents.
- Fluids and Maintenance: Regular vehicle maintenance is crucial for winter safety. Ensure your vehicle’s fluids, including antifreeze and windshield washer fluid, are appropriate. Also, check the condition of your brakes, lights, and heating system.
- Emergency Kit: Putting together an emergency kit for your vehicle is a good precaution, especially if you are heading out to Maryland. This kit should include items such as blankets, a flashlight, batteries, a first aid kit, non-perishable food, and water. In case you get stranded, these supplies can be valuable.
- Battery Health: Cold weather can affect your vehicle’s battery. Have it tested to ensure it can handle the winter conditions. A weak battery is more likely to fail in frigid temperatures.
Safe Driving Practices in Winter Conditions
Adhering to safe driving practices can be a game-changer in bad weather. Take notice of the following considerations:
- Slowing Down and Maintaining Distance: Reducing speed is crucial in icy or snowy conditions. Beyond decreasing your driving speed to match the road conditions, it is important always to maintain a safe following distance.
- Braking and Acceleration Techniques: Avoid sudden braking, as it can cause skidding on icy roads. Use gentle, steady pressure on the brakes and accelerator. If your vehicle has antilock brakes (ABS), let the system do its job.
- Navigating Icy Intersections: Approach intersections cautiously, as they are often icy. Brake gently before reaching the intersection.
- Handling Skids: If your vehicle begins to skid, remain calm. Avoid over-correcting. For rear-wheel skids, steer into the skid, while for front-wheel skids, steer in the opposite direction of the skid.
Dealing with Snow and Ice on the Road
Learn how to deal with snow and ice. Here are a few good tips:
- Snow Removal Equipment: Washington, D.C., is equipped to handle snow removal. However, it may take time for crews to clear all roads. Allow extra time for your commute.
- Clearing Snow Off Your Vehicle: Before hitting the road, take the time to clear all snow and ice from your vehicle. This includes the roof, windows, headlights, and taillights. Snow blowing off your vehicle can create hazardous conditions for others.
- Black ice, which is nearly invisible on the road, is a significant danger in winter. Drive cautiously and be aware of areas where black ice forms.
If You Have an Accident, Call Roeser Law for Help
Medical care, the cost of lost income and pain and suffering can be astronomical and go beyond the limits of your personal injury policy. Roeser Law is dedicated to protecting your rights. We offer compassionate and steadfast service to our clients. We have the experience and resources you need to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (202) 660-4070 to learn how we can help. You can also contact us online.