According to Wikipedia, snow plows (also snow plow, snowplough or snow plough) are “a device intended for mounting on a vehicle, used for removing snow and ice from outdoor surfaces, typically those serving transportation purposes. Although this term is often used to refer to vehicles mounting such devices, more accurately they are known as winter service vehicles, especially in areas that regularly receive large amounts of snow every year.”
When huge snowfalls hit, fleets of snow plows scatter to address the freezing mess. They are our city’s and municipality’s first line of defense against snow-clogged roads. However, even plows aren’t immune to the dangers ice and snow present to drivers. Cold weather mixed with precipitation causes all sorts of problems for roadways. Ice reduces traction, which makes it harder for drivers to steer and brake. Snow compounds the problem, and anyone who has braved the elements during a winter storm can testify: snow-laden driving lanes are often littered with cars and trucks that’ve spun askew or smashed into other vehicles.
Last winter, a woman in North Amityville, Long Island was struck by a snow plow that was not actively plowing at the time of the accident. This year, a snow plow, also on Long Island, lost control and struck an electrical pole on the side of the road. These incidents prove that not even the snow plows themselves are impervious to the hazards of winter driving.
Snow plows are a necessary tool in clearing up our roads after a snowfall. However, they must abide by the same rules all drivers must when dealing with icy and snowy conditions. Below, we’ll go over some winter driving tips that will keep all motorists safe during the winter months.
Tips for Winter Driving
- When a serious snowstorm occurs, you should avoid taking to the roadway at all costs. Unless you’ve got necessary business to attend to, we implore you to stay at home. Piloting a vehicle over slick and snowy roadways is a highly dangerous endeavor.
- Your reflexes may be as sharp as a cat’s- but snow changes everything. Do not follow closely behind the driver in front of you. You may think you’ll be able to apply pressure to your brakes and stop in time, but the snow may have different plans! The time it takes to stop a car is dramatically increased in the snow.
- Pre-snowstorm: remember to flip up your windshield wipers. This will prevent them from freezing to your front windshield.
- Before heading out on a snow sojourn, make sure to check your antifreeze levels, your battery power and make certain that your rear window defogger and defroster are operating properly. You may also want to keep a spare tank of gasoline in your car. Breaking down with no fuel is a nightmare in normal conditions, but in the snow, it can become outright deadly. If you’re too far removed from a town or city, and your car breaks down, you stand the risk of freezing to death. Don’t get caught away from home with no gas!
- When shoveling snow on your property, attempt to clear out fire hydrants buried in snow if possible. This will allow emergency workers to access hydrants in case of an emergency.
- When clearing out your driveway, be careful cleaning out your snow blowers. Do not stick your hands inside of snow blowers in attempt to clear them out. This could lead to devastating hand injuries.
- Four-wheel drive is a huge asset when it comes to driving in the snow, but it does not make you invincible. Even with 4WD, remember to stay cautious, drive at prudent speeds, leave room in between you and the car in front of you, and navigate turns carefully.
- Stay with your vehicle If you become snow-bound. Your car will provide temporary shelter and will serve as a more-visible beacon for rescue workers to navigate by, thus making it easier for you to be spotted and rescued in case of an emergency. Wandering away from your car may lead to you becoming permanently lost.
- Please also remember, do not use 911 for non-life-threatening emergencies. Things like downed trees, property damage (that does not result in personal injury), etc. should be handled by non-emergency call centers.
Kaplan Lawyers PC
During snow storms, the likelihood of an accident or injury occurring skyrockets. If you or a loved has been injured during a snow storm, in a vehicle or otherwise, contact Kaplan Lawyers PC. Our esteemed attorneys specialize in all types of personal injury cases. As you recover from your injuries, we will work tirelessly, defending your case in court and winning you the compensation you deserve. This compensation will help pay for expensive medical bills and will set your mind at ease as you focus on what’s really important: your family, your friends, and your health. Not sure how to get started on your legal journey? Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today to schedule a free and easy consultation.