Oklahoma’s erratic winter weather makes for the single most dangerous time of year for drivers to be on its roadways. Add to that increased travel distances, holiday stress, and a drastic increase in the number of drunk drivers on the road and the winter season can be downright deadly for motorists who travel around Oklahoma. According to data compiled by the Department of Transportation, 22% of all traffic accidents, including those that result in fatalities, are due to inclement weather. This means roads that are wet from rain or covered in ice or snow. Every year more than 116,800 people are injured in winter weather-related automobile accidents and those accidents result in over 1300 deaths. Even the smallest of winter driving accidents could potentially leave you stranded on the side of the road for hours. Knowing what essentials you should have on hand can go a long way towards keeping you safe if the worst should happen.
Make Sure You Have Gas
Keep the gas tank at least half full throughout the entire winter season. This will reduce condensation thereby making your vehicle easier to start on cold mornings.
Keep Your Cell Phone Handy
If you have a cell phone always keep it with you and make sure that it is fully charged before you leave the house. A car charger for the phone can be an inexpensive lifesaver. Make sure that you keep one in your car somewhere where you will be able to find it quickly.
Always keep an ice scraper and a shovel in your vehicle. A first aid kit is another must-have. You can buy pre-made ones from almost any store. It should include all the typical items plus winter weather extras like flashlights, a fresh supply of appropriately sized batteries, blankets, bottled water, extra clothes, matches, and non-perishable food items that do not require any cooking such as granola bars, peanut butter, crackers, and trail mix.
Rear Wheel Drive
For rear-wheel drive vehicles, you will probably want to keep a small bag of sand in your trunk to create traction underneath of your tires if you get stuck. The majority of a vehicle’s weight is the engine which is typically located in the front of the car. When a car does have rear wheel drive, the heavy front and light rear end make the car susceptible to sliding around on ice- or snow-covered roadways.
For maximum visibility, clear off your car completely before you get behind the wheel. Don’t forget the roof, the hood, and your head and taillights. Yes, this means spending a few extra minutes outside in the freezing cold but it is a far better scenario than being involved in an accident due to poor or limited visibility. Leftover ice bits from the roof or hood of your car may become hazardous to yourself and those on the road around you while you are driving.
Reducing the overall amount of driving that you need to do during the holiday season is ideal, but not always practical. If you are involved in a car accident you need to contact a personal injury attorney immediately to go over your legal options. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident the McGuire Law Firm is here to help you. Our personal injury attorneys have the necessary qualifications and know-how to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to under Oklahoma law. If you would like a free consultation with one of our reputable personal injury attorneys regarding your car accident case, then please give us a call at (405) 513-5658 and speak with someone in our Oklahoma office today.