Drivers in the Bay Area typically have to worry about rainy weather conditions. However, especially during the winter months, travel through mountain passes could pose a potential safety hazard. Snowy and icy conditions can easily occur on mountain roads and may make travel quite difficult for Bay Area residents. After all, they may only experience winter driving conditions a few times a year, if that.
Winter road conditions can be a challenge for drivers to handle safely. Those planning any mountain driving during the winter months may benefit from refreshing themselves on winter driving safety tips before they hit the road. The following approaches can help to keep people safe when driving in winter weather conditions in the Bay Area and when Bay Area residents are traveling.
Making driving adjustments
The most important element of traveling safely in winter weather conditions is the choice to change standard driving behaviors. Driving at the normal speed limit is probably not a safe decision. People may need to reduce their speed significantly and may need to plan their schedules accordingly. Motorists may also need to leave more space between their vehicles and other vehicles in traffic. Icy and snowy street surfaces significantly increase the stopping distance for motor vehicles. People typically need to double their following distance during winter weather conditions while also reducing their speed.
Keeping vehicles maintained
Those about to travel on snowy or icy streets need to be able to trust the performance of their vehicles. Ensuring that tires are well inflated and brakes are operating properly are both important steps. Drivers may also need to inspect their windshield wipers. Packing safety equipment, including water, food, blankets, warm clothing and boots in case of an incident, is also advisable for those traveling through rural mountain areas. Anyone planning on driving in freezing rain or stopping anywhere with lower temperatures may need to purchase and pack an ice scraper to remove accumulated ice from their vehicle’s windows as well.
Hopefully, those who encounter blustery road conditions while navigating mountain passes and other questionable terrain all reach their destination safely. Those who end up involved in collisions may sometimes need to pursue insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits after a wreck. Being proactive about safety helps minimize the chances that a driver will be held personally responsible for a crash.