Whether your family is staying in the Tampa Bay area or traveling out of town, it is important to learn more about safety tips for driving in Florida in the winter, as well as for avoiding car accidents if you are heading farther north into regions where you may encounter ice, snow, or other inclement weather conditions. Keep in mind that car accident prevention extends beyond avoiding hazardous atmospheric conditions. It also means being cognizant of the annual influx of drivers during the winter months, as well as an increase in drowsy drivers who have been on the road for too long. Do not forget that you should also take steps to avoid aggressive driving and drowsy driving yourself.
Preparing Your Car for Cooler Weather
Even if you are remaining in the Tampa Bay area, as a Florida resident you know that we still experience cooler temperatures in the winter, and it is important to have your car properly serviced so that it runs smoothly. A fact sheet from the National Safety Council (NSC) emphasizes that you should have your mechanic check all of the following in your vehicle when the weather gets cooler:
- Fan belts;
- Spark plugs;
- Air and fuel filters;
- Tire treads;
- Tire pressure; and
- Antifreeze level.
It is particularly important to have your tires checked and to get new tires if there is insufficient tread. Regardless of the outside temperatures, worn tires can lead to a dangerous car accident.
Avoiding Aggressive Driving Accidents
How can you avoid aggressive driving this season? A pamphlet from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recommends the following:
- Do not offend other drivers by cutting them off, driving slowly in the left lane, tailgating, or making angry gestures when another driver does something that makes you angry.
- Do not engage with an aggressive driver by steering clear of anyone on the road who is angry and wants to cause a fight. You can help to do this by avoiding eye contact, and if the situation escalates, you can call the police.
- Do change your own approach to driving to help make both short and long trips on the road. If another driver gets angry, try to put yourself in the other driver’s shoes to help deescalate a potentially dangerous situation. Keep in mind that less anxiety behind the wheel can lead to a healthier and less anxious lifestyle even when you are not on the road.
Prevent Drowsy Driving Collisions This Season
Finally, what can you do to help avoid a drowsy driving accident this winter? A fact sheet from the National Sleep Foundation recommends the following:
- Get at least seven hours of sleep before driving;
- If you are taking a long trip, plan breaks every 100 miles or two hours (whichever comes first);
- Travel with a companion who can share the driving;
- Avoid any medications or alcohol that can cause you to become sedate; and
- Drink caffeine to help keep you alert behind the wheel.
Contact a Tampa Bay Car Accident Lawyer
No one plans for a car accident over the winter, yet accidents do happen. If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a traffic collision, a Tampa Bay area car accident attorney can assist you. Contact the Valrico Law Group for more information about filing a claim for compensation.