If we have learned anything in Texas over the last few years, it’s that winters can be devastating. Even though most of the rest of the country thinks this state is all sunshine and hot weather, we know that that’s not the case. Driving through Texas and the winter can be challenging when the elements begin to set in. Here, we want to offer some winter driving tips for Texans so that you can be prepared when we do get inclement weather. If the 2021 winter storm taught us anything, it’s that winter reconditions can make roads impassable and lead to significant statewide challenges.
Preparing for Safe Winter Driving
The time to prepare for safe winter driving is before the first major winter storm. This means making sure your vehicle is winterized now. What does that mean? Well, you should check to make sure your battery is good and that you have antifreeze in the car. Check your windshield wipers and wiper fluid. Make sure your headlights, brake lights, tail lights, and turn signals all work properly.
The weather can change tire pressure, so when you are checking the tread on your tires, also make sure the pressure is maintained when the temperature changes. Go ahead and make sure your brakes are good (preferably have a mechanic look), and take care of any issues before it gets too cold out.
Most reputable mechanics offer relatively inexpensive winter checks for vehicles. We encourage you to call a few locations or go to your trusted mechanic and ask them to run through the winterization process for your vehicle.
Keep an Emergency Kit in the Car
As you are preparing your vehicle for winter weather, we also encourage you to update your emergency kit. Everybody should have an emergency kit in their vehicle, because, let’s face it, we never know when we are going to experience a roadside emergency. At a minimum, you should include the following in your winter emergency kit:
Flares or triangle reflectors
Flashlight and batteries
Instant heating packs
Cat litter or sand for traction
Non-perishable food and water
A basic first-aid kit
Taking a Short or Long Trip?
Should your Texas winter driving plans change depending on whether you are taking a short or long trip? The answer is “not really” because we want you to go ahead and assume that every trip will be a long trip. If we expect inclement winter weather in Texas, anything can happen when you go out on the roadway. A trip that you expect to go quickly could take much longer if your vehicle breaks down or if there is a traffic jam along the way.
When there is winter weather out, every trip needs to be a long trip, at least when you are making your safety plans. If you do get into a wreck on the road, a car accident lawyer in Houston may be able to help you assess your legal options for seeking compensation.
Check Roads and Weather Conditions
There are a variety of apps you can use to help plan your trip and examine traffic and weather conditions on your particular route. If you expect there to be winter weather, we strongly encourage you to examine weather and road conditions ahead of time and monitor them as your trip proceeds. You may need to take alternate routes, or you may need to stop for a night if conditions worsen. When there is winter weather in Texas, you need to be ready to adjust your plans accordingly.