Discussion: As much of the nation is into the heart of winter, there are many weather conditions that can affect your vehicle and the way you drive. Driving in snowy, foggy, or icy conditions can give even the most experienced motorist a challenge on the road. According to the Department of Transportation, there are approximately 1.2 million vehicle accidents related to weather, which leads to on average 6,000 fatalities and approximately 445,000 injuries due to these dangerous road conditions. So, what do you need to know to get to your destination in tricky winter weather safely?
Knowing your weather forecast before you leave the house helps tremendously. As of last fall, the National Weather Service has started to issue snow squall warnings which notify the public when a quick burst of snow that can cause limited visibility and hazardous road conditions. Snow squalls are defined as intense, limited duration periods of moderate to heavy snowfall, which are accompanied by gusty surface winds. A snow squall is associated with strong cold front passages. Snow squalls approximately last a half hour to an hour in duration. They are common in the winter and can produce sudden whiteout conditions. If temperatures rapidly fall while a snow squall is occurring, surfaces can become very dangerous to travel on. These weather conditions can cause accidents if motorists are not careful when caught in one.
If caught in a snow squall while traveling, it’s important to take safety precautions to keep safe. Reduce your vehicle’s speed and turn on your headlights and hazard lights. In addition, if on a slick surface don’t slam your vehicle’s brakes as that could cause a loss of control of the vehicle. Always have a car emergency kit in your trunk, as you never know when you might get stuck. In addition, make sure your vehicle is prepared to handle the weather and is in top shape. Make sure to tune into your local weather service office and local meteorologists for the latest winter weather advisories and warnings. For more information on Winter Weather and Safety be sure to click here!
©2019 Meteorologist Shannon Scully