Virginia drivers might decide to head north this winter season. Although it’s great to visit family and friends, you’ll also want to do everything you can to protect you and your family during a long-distance winter drive. This means you need to be prepared for freezing temperatures, snow and the chance that your car could become stranded.
Although most long-distance winter driving trips will be fine and no emergency situations will arise, as they said during the ancient days of Rome, semper paratus. You should always be prepared with the following safety measures:
- Bring a cellphone with extra batteries and keep the telephone number for AAA handy. Also, pack blankets, hats, food, water, mittens and other cold weather safety gear.
- If you get snowbound, don’t leave your car. Your vehicle may be the only shelter you have, and staying in it will assist rescuers in finding you. Don’t try to walk in difficult storm conditions as you could get lost, and you could also freeze.
- Stay calm and don’t wear yourself out trying to dig out your vehicle from the snow.
- Tie a bright cloth to your antenna if you get stranded. This will signal distress and assist when rescuers try to find you. Also, keep the dome light in your car on so that people can see your vehicle better. It doesn’t use too much electricity and won’t drain your battery.
There are other things you can do to keep you and your family safe, like driving slowly and carefully in snowy, icy and stormy conditions. If — despite your best efforts to stay safe while driving in the winter — you get hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver you may want to learn about your legal rights to pursue financial compensation in court.