Winter Driving Tips for Rural Roads

We live in a beautiful area of the country. Surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains and close to an abundance of natural waterways, Pike County is Kentucky’s largest county in terms of land mass. Among the many roads that serve this region, some of the more heavily traveled ones include US 23, US 119, US 460, KY 80, and KY 194. Any road can present a travel hazard when winter weather comes to the Big Sandy region, even when maintenance crews are out in full force. There are many challenges to driving in the ice and snow, particularly on those rural paths that wind through the mountains. When staying home just isn’t an option, here are some tips that can help you handle treacherous driving conditions.

  • Know the expected road and weather conditions. Plan your route and check conditions in advance so you aren’t taken by surprise. Many local news outlets have up-to-date information on their websites, as does the official page of the KY DOT.
  • Never have less than a half tank of gas. You never know when you might encounter a serious traffic jam that leaves you idling for hours, or even a minor skid where you have to wait for a wrecker to pull you out. Having enough gas to run the heater can make all the difference in many situations.
  • Install snow tires on your vehicle, which give extra traction in ice and snow. Depending on where your travels may take you, consider using tire chains.
  • Keep your windshield clear and use windshield washer fluid that is rated for winter conditions.
  • Test your battery and replace if unreliable. Freezing temperatures put more strain on your battery and cause it to quit without warning. If you are unsure how to test your battery, many national auto parts stores will do so for free, including Pep Boys, Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, and CARQUEST.
  • Be prepared by having an emergency survival kit that includes a first aid kit, a flashlight, flares, blankets, matches or a lighter, candles, and extra socks, hats, gloves, and scarves. Throw in a few granola bars or boxes of raisins, a container that can hold melted snow for drinking water, and an adapter that can be used in your car to charge your cell phone.
  • Carry a bag of sand or kitty litter in the back of your vehicle, for both weight and traction in the event you get stuck.
  • Drive slower than the posted speeds and allow more time to reach your destination.
  • Give more space between you and the driver in front of you. A wet road surface means longer stopping distances.
  • Use caution on bridges and overpasses, because they are susceptible to freezing before roadways.
  • Call 911 or the Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555 if you see or suspect that someone is stranded.
If you have any questions about this topic, you can find out more by discussing it with one of the personal injury attorneys at the Johnson Law Firm. We have years of experience helping people and we can help you. Based in Pikeville, KY, we proudly serve communities throughout the Bluegrass State. Contact us by calling 606-437-4488 or filling out our online form.

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