South Carolina is known for having a temperate climate, which lures visitors to our area year round. Though we do not typically see the heavy snow falls or other severe conditions that our northern neighbors experience at this time of year, winter weather can still play havoc with the roads, making car accidents and personal injuries more likely to occur. Whether you are local or a “snowbird” visiting the area for the next few months, the following offers winter weather driving tips to help keep you safe.
Winter Weather In South Carolina
From the Upstate through the Lowcountry, South Carolina has varied climates, depending on your location. While the southeastern portion of the state generally only experiences the occasional frost and a few snow flurries, residents in Aiken and the surrounding areas should prepare for winter weather conditions. According to US Climate Data, the average low temperature over December, January, and February is roughly 34 degrees. As roads tend to freeze at just a few degrees below this average, it is important for drivers to be alert for the potential for freezing rain and icy roads.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that inclement weather significantly increases your car accident risks. Of the nearly six million accidents that occur on U.S. roads each year, more than 20 percent are weather-related. Rain and sleet can impact visibility and increase glare, particularly at night, while wet roads and ice decrease tire traction and make it harder to control your vehicle.
Driving In Winter Weather
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) urges all drivers to be aware of the potential dangers over the cold weather months. They offer the following tips for driving in winter weather conditions:
Watch your speed: Going slow makes it easier to control your vehicle and gives you extra time to respond to changes in road and traffic conditions.
Avoid tailgating: Be sure to give other motorists plenty of room. During adverse weather, the SCDPS suggests allowing three times the usual space between yourself and the driver in front of you.
Avoid abrupt actions: Allow plenty of time and space for stopping, passing other vehicles, or making turns. Abrupt actions increase the likelihood of skidding and losing control.
Know when to pump your brakes: If you do not have anti-lock brakes, pumping the pedal can help in icy conditions. If you do have them, avoid pumping and simply press the pedal firmly and hold it.
Know the roads: Bridges, overpasses, and side roads tend to freeze before major highways. Be aware of the type of road you are traveling on, and adjust your driving accordingly.
Been In An Accident? Get Help Today
When car accidents and personal injuries do occur, report it to law enforcement, get medical attention, and notify your insurance company. To help ensure you get the total amount of compensation you are entitled to when filing a claim, contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC today. We can arrange a free consultation with our Aiken personal injury attorney, who can help ensure your rights are protected in insurance company negotiations.