Avoiding car accidents in winter weather: Tips and resources for Missouri drivers

winterroad3.jpgHere in southwest Missouri, we've been dealing with a rather dangerous bout of winter weather this week - and the forecast predicts more sleet, freezing rain and ice from tonight through tomorrow. Of course, it's best to stay home in this kind of weather, but if you don't have that option, our Missouri personal injury lawyers urge you to take appropriate precautions to help ensure your safety - and the safety of the motorists you're sharing the road with.

When you have to drive in wintry conditions, it's essential to be ready for what you may encounter: after all, doing so can help reduce your risk of being involved in a serious car accident. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination, and be patient and alert when you're behind the wheel. Remember, it's better to arrive late than to not arrive at all. Before you get on the road, you should also take a moment to check road conditions for the route you're planning to take: MoDOT offers a useful Traveler Info Map that provides details on weather-related road conditions, road closures, and work zone locations. (You can also download MoDOT's Map App for your Apple or Android device.)

Another way you can help protect yourself is to prepare your vehicle for winter travel. Below, we share some car prep tips to help you make sure your vehicle is equipped to handle snowy or icy conditions.

Driving in dangerous conditions: Preparing your car for winter travel

Have your vehicle's systems checked. You'll want to ensure that your vehicle's key systems are properly maintained, including your battery and charging system; your brakes; your cooling system; your exhaust; your heating system; your windshield washer and wipers; and your interior and exterior lights.

Make sure your tires are in good shape. In particular, check your tired tread depth and your tire pressure. Safety experts recommend checking your pressure on a weekly basis throughout the winter months.

Get your oil and filters changed. Make sure you're not overdue for an oil change. When you're having your vehicle serviced, ask the technician to check your fuel, air and transmission filters - and to change them if needed.