Driving Safe on Kansas Roads During Winter

DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers > Blog > Car Accidents > Driving Safe on Kansas Roads…

In winter each year, almost 76,000 people get seriously injured in collisions all over the country. These collisions also cause almost 900 deaths and millions of dollars’ worth of property damage and loss. Yes, Kansas-City, Kansas and Olathe did make it onto the list of the 10 safest urban areas to drive in during winter but, this is no reason to underestimate the dangers created by cold weather for Wichita or the rest of Kansas drivers.

 

In fact, 2018 started with a series of road collisions, all of which were credited to the cold temperatures gripping the state of Kansas. Although nobody was injured in these crashes, the fact is that winter weather does pose a challenge not only for native drivers, but also for motorists who are new to the region.

 

What makes driving so dangerous in cold weather? How can you can be safe when freezing temperatures hit your part of the state?

 

The hazards of driving during the winter season!

  • 1. You can’t see how bad things are. The biggest problem with ice on the roads comes from the motorists’ inability to see it, and even when they do, it is easy to mistake an icy road for a wet surface.
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  • 2. The situation gets bad quickly. Things change fast when mercury levels plunge, so a road that is wet can quickly turn icy within a span of a few miles and his often catches drivers by surprise. In fact, it is not rare to be traveling on a wet road and suddenly hit an unexpected icy patch.
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  • 3. You are no longer in control. In icy conditions, brakes don’t work as effectively and tire traction is compromised. Motorists have much less control when it comes to directing the function and direction of their vehicles.
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  • 4. Increase in temperature does not offer reprieve. Often, conditions do not get better when the temperature increases a few degrees because roadways simply go from ice or snow to slush and standing water.

 

All of these problems considered, it comes as no surprise that nearly 25% of vehicle crashes occur during the winter when the roads and pavements are covered in snow, slush, and ice. The best way to limit the risk associated with winter driving is to reduce your vehicle speed and be sure your vehicle is prepared for winter driving.

 

Is your car ready for winter?

A lot of small issues with your vehicle which pose minimal threats throughout warmer months turn into serious dangers when winter rolls around. For instance:

 

Kansas winter driving
  • Worn out tires are problematic at any time of the year. However, even slightly worn out tires can seriously compromise traction which can cause skidding to occur when hitting even the smallest of ice patches.
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  • Investing in a set of winter tires that are specifically designed to navigate through snow and ice-covered surfaces is a good idea to survive the extremes of Kansas winters.
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  • More visibility equates to greater control over the vehicle and the on-road situation. So, check your wipers and clean the windows of your car.
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  • Also, check the fluid levels in your vehicle. This includes engine oil, antifreeze and wiper fluid. The last thing you want is car trouble in the midst of a snow storm.

 

Winter driving tips that will help to keep you safe!

  • 1. Take the time to check for road and traffic conditions, which will give you an idea of what to expect. Remember, you need more space to slow your vehicle when the road is covered in snow, ice, slush or water.
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  • 2. One of the simplest yet most effective strategies for safe driving in winter is to control vehicle speed. Whether it is snow or water, hitting several inches of any unexpected substance at high speed will make you lose control of your vehicle.
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  • 3. Do not be in a hurry to accelerate or to stop your vehicle when driving during the winter. Applying both the gas and the brakes slowly is the best way to get better traction and vehicle control.
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  • 4. Traffic moves at slower speed in winter which means you need to be prepared for delays and give yourself a few extra minutes to travel to your destination.
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  • 5. Maintain greater distance between vehicles during the winter season.
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  • 6. When navigating through an area with heavy vehicle/pedestrian traffic, make slow and gradual turns, particularly if you are driving through intersections covered in ice.
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  • 7. Always keep your gas tank full and your cell phone charged.

 

Finally, remember to carry a disaster supply and emergency kit in your vehicle if you are going to be out and about in snowy weather and inform somebody of your travel plans. If you do find yourself stranded in winter weather, you can call for help by dialing Kansas Highway Patrol at *KTA (582) or *HP (47).