blog home Car Accidents How to drive safely during Virginia’s winter weather

How to drive safely during Virginia’s winter weather

By Ken Gibson on January 30, 2024

Winter is beautiful in Virginia. A fresh coat of snow on the ground and trees covered in white powder can be breathtaking. But while our winters can bring snowmen, sledding, and time with loved ones in front of a fireplace, winter can also be dangerous for drivers.

Freezing rain, snow, and ice lead to hazardous road conditions. That’s why it’s important to adjust your driving habits and take precautions before you head out in bad weather to help ensure that you and your loved ones make it home safely.

Prepare before bad winter weather strikes

Start by making sure your vehicle is ready for cold weather driving:

  1. Equip your car with emergency provisions, including nonperishable food, water, warm clothes, blankets, a flashlight, a glass scraper, and a first aid kit.
  2. See your mechanic to get a multi-point inspection (MPI), making sure your car’s major systems and parts are in good working condition. This includes checking fluids and filters, as well as your car’s battery, brakes, and headlights.
  3. Have your mechanic check your tire pressure and tread. Consider installing winter tires that provide an extra degree of traction and security.
  4. Before leaving on a trip, study your route. That way, you won’t have to be glued to a GPS.
  5. Make sure your gas tank is full.
  6. Remove any ice or frost from your windows.
  7. Check the weather report, and avoid driving in heavy snow whenever you can.

Drive more cautiously during bad winter weather

Winter storms can be severe in Virginia. Virginia State troopers responded to more than 1,000 crashes and 900 disabled vehicles during a single snowstorm in a recent year.

  1. Always drive at a speed that’s safe for current road conditions. It’s the law in Virginia. That means slowing down when snow, rain, or ice are present, regardless of the posted speed limit.
  2. Always keep your headlights on, but don’t use high beams.
  3. Don’t turn on the cruise control in inclement weather because it limits your ability to navigate safely.
  4. Avoid distractions while driving in winter weather so you can stay completely focused on the road.
  5. Keep a safe following distance of seven to nine seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. It may take up to 10 times longer to stop.
  6. Maintain a steady speed, and try not to make any sudden or jerky motions with your steering wheel. Accelerate gradually and travel at a constant speed.
  7. Apply brakes gently by tapping on them. Never slam on your brakes when driving on snowy or icy roads, and use lower gears when driving downhill.
  8. If your car begins to skid, don’t accelerate or brake quickly. When the rear wheels slide, turn your vehicle in the direction of the skid to regain control of the vehicle.

After the bad weather, still watch for ice on the road and stay alert

  1. Even after the storm has passed, remember to watch for ice on the road. Areas where ice is most likely to form include tunnels, bridges, shady areas, overpasses, and near bodies of water. Hitting a patch of ice can result in an immediate loss of traction, causing your car to slide.
  2. Drive slowly and remain alert for patches of ice and black ice. Although difficult to detect, black ice patches are slightly darker and look a bit duller than shiny, wet asphalt.

Who can I call if I am injured by a careless driver during bad weather in Virginia?

Give us a call at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. We are dedicated to helping you get the resources you need to cover your medical bills and other costs, such as time missed from work.

At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, serving you is more than a job for us. John and I are former U.S. Marines, and we consider it our calling to get justice for people who have been harmed by the senseless or wrongful actions of others.

When you put your trust in us, you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. We call it our Zero Fee Guarantee.

We understand what you’re going through because we’ve been there ourselves. Reach out to us at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777 to schedule a free consultation today. We will serve you with empathy and excellence.

Related Articles:

Posted in: Car Accidents

Share This Page:   

Call our Eastern Virginia office today for a free consultation
at (804) 413-6777 or toll free (855) 781-6777.

Zero Fee Guarantee

It costs you nothing for our firm to represent you. We only get paid when you do. Learn more

Community service

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.