Safe driving tips for the winter

California drivers should consider the following tips so that they can stay safe on the snowy, icy and wet roads that winter brings. Most of the tips are concerned with preparation. For example, to ensure that the vehicle is properly winterized, drivers could hire a mechanic to check components like the brakes, ignition, wiring and filters. Mechanics could also check tire pressure and antifreeze levels.

Another tip is to have an emergency kit containing tire chains, jumper cables, windshield cleaner, an ice scraper, a first-aid kit and flares or reflective triangles. The latter will be useful when drivers are stuck in snow; pushing vehicles out of snow is not advisable. Drivers should plan their routes ahead of time and share them with friends or family. If possible, they should wait out storms. In a whiteout, it's recommended to pull off the road.

Some people may wish to leave their car running in the garage to warm it up. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warns against this because of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Even when the garage door is open, it's dangerous.

On the road, drivers are expected to slow down. They must also accelerate and decelerate slowly, keep a greater distance from the vehicle in front, typically 8 to 10 seconds, and steer in the direction they want to go if they end up in a slide.

Auto accidents are not uncommon during winter, but victims of one may not be sure at first if they have a valid personal injury case. This is where a case evaluation with a lawyer may help. If the grounds are good, the lawyer might proceed to build the case up with the help of investigators, medical experts and other third parties. The lawyer may then negotiate for a reasonable settlement with the other party's auto insurance company.

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