Winter Driving Tips
If you’ve ever seen the movie “Misery,” then you probably remember how novelist Paul Sheldon (played by James Caan) got caught in a snow storm while driving his Ford Mustang (erratically) from his mountain cabin in Colorado. His vehicle runs off the road and lands in a ditch at the bottom of a snow-covered hill. There, he is discovered by nurse Annie Wilkes (played by Kathy Bates). Paul’s “No. 1 fan” brings him to her remote home under the guise of nursing him back to health. Instead, she causes great “misery” as she forces him to write and rewrite a novel while she inflicts great physical and emotional torture upon him. It’s a very scary movie indeed. Paul Sheldon could have avoided all that agony if he had properly prepared himself and his vehicle for winter driving. To avoid your own winter driving misery, consider these tips. First, before turning on the vehicle, make sure any snow is cleared from the tailpipe of the car to ensure carbon monoxide does not back up into the vehicle. Then, turn your attention to the windshield and windows. It is very important to clean off all snow and ice from the vehicle, including the windshield, mirrors, and windows, before leaving the driveway. Trying to drive while peering through a small hole in a windshield otherwise covered in ice or snow is dangerous and can result in injuries to yourself or others.
Wait until your front windshield is clear of ice before turning on your wipers, as wipers can be damaged by continuously running over uneven ice on the windshield. Also, do not try to pour hot water on the windshield, as that could break the windshield glass. It is a good idea to keep a blanket, flashlight, first-aid kit, and even food and water in your vehicle just in case. Tire tread and pressure should be checked regularly. Be sure to check the wiper fluid reservoir to make sure you have plenty of wiper fluid to wash off salt and other debris that may accumulate during winter driving. Once on the road, adjust your driving to the road conditions. You should maintain a greater distance between yourself and vehicles in front of you if there could be any ice or snow on the road. Avoid using cruise control when driving on snow or ice. Remember all those that love you, and take extra caution to drive safely during the winter months (and avoid a chance encounter with Annie Wilkes)!
Our firm handled numerous cases over the last year in which the driver of a vehicle failed to properly remove ice or debris from the windshield, resulting in serious injuries to our clients. Law enforcement personnel will often take photos of windshields that obstruct a driver’s clear view during a crash investigation. Driving a vehicle with snow, ice, dirt, or any debris obstructing the driver’s vision is a violation of Tennessee’s due care driving law (T.C.A. 55-8-136). Drivers cannot avoid what they cannot see, and that includes pedestrians and other vehicles. Always remember to thoroughly clean windows and headlamps from snow, mud, and ice before driving. Clear off snow from the hood and top of the vehicle, as well, because it can come off the vehicle suddenly as a sheet of snow and obstruct your view or that of another vehicle in your vicinity.
REFERRALS WELCOME We thank you so much for referring clients to us over the years. We are grateful that you have trusted us with taking care of those who need our services. For any referrals, please contact us at 423-928-0165 or fill out our online contact form at HaynesLawyers.com.
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