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Winter weather driving tips for Atlantans

Atlanta natives are not accustomed to snowy weather. So during what has been one of the coldest and wettest winters in years, it is important for motorists to prioritize safety.

Although La Niña winters are usually dry and warm, this year has surpassed snowfall averages for the region. Atlanta, which statistically sees 0.7 inches of snow this month, had 2.3 inches on January 17. While meteorologists expect warmer temperatures and less snow, this winter has already been atypical and more snow could be in our future.

Staying home is a safe and acceptable option for unnecessary travel, but life doesn't stop when the snow starts. If you do find yourself on a snowy road, here are some important safety tips.

Slow down

Truly, no matter what kind of vehicle you drive, winter weather conditions mean it's time to dial it back on the speedometer. Slowing down to about half your normal speed is recommended, as well as switching to a low gear.

Beware of black ice

Black ice is a condition where the roadway appears to be clear, but is actually slippery with transparent ice on the black pavement. If you encounter black ice, don't hit the brakes or overcorrect your steering if you start sliding. Take your foot off the gas and keep your wheel steady.

Pack an emergency kit

Winter weather can happen at any time - including when you are already on the road. Be prepared by keeping an emergency kit in your car at all times. Items to include in your kit are:

  • An ice scraper
  • Jumper cables
  • A first aid kit
  • Emergency chargers for phones
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Winter weather clothing, accessories and blankets
  • Snacks and bottled water
  • Sand or kitty litter for wheel traction

Additionally, you should make sure your gas tank is at least half full before winter travel.

Treat broken traffic lights as four-way stops

Yield to other drivers just as you would if the intersection was flanked with stop signs, and be sure to look in all directions before you take your turn - other drivers may not be aware of how to handle the stop.

Keep your distance from emergency vehicles

Georgia Department of Transportation trucks that are clearing snow and ice or are spreading the salt/gravel mixture need space. Keep at least 100 feet behind these vehicles. If you see a first responder vehicle stopped on the side of the highway, Georgia law says you must move over one lane if possible.

Help make the roads safer for everyone this winter by following these basic safety tips. They can help reduce the possibility of accidents, but unfortunately other drivers not taking safety precautions can still cause a car accident that leads to an injury.

If that is the case, you deserve proper compensation for your medical care. You can work with a personal injury attorney who can provide a free consultation and case review to determine what is available to you.

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3151 Maple Drive, N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30305

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