The Carolinas are a popular vacation destination due to their warm summers and sunny springtime. They exist in a climate zone that is generally temperate, with mild winters and usually light snow. But as the seasons change, the average low temperature hovers around the freezing point of 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. These conditions can produce devastating ice storms and dangerous driving conditions. 


However, it is not just the ice that poses a threat. Snow, sleet, strong winds, and thick fog can make driving in North and South Carolina during the winter months especially hazardous. Drivers need to exercise caution and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety.


Fortunately, the following steps can help you reduce your risk when you take to the roads this winter. 


Apply Rain-X

You may be familiar with Rain-X, a popular windshield treatment designed to help improve visibility and safety while driving in rainy or wet conditions. When applied to a windshield, Rain-X creates a thin, hydrophobic layer that helps to cause water droplets to bead up and roll off the glass rather than sticking to the surface and obstructing the driver’s view. 


This can be particularly helpful in preventing dangerous driving during the winter, when rain, sleet, and snow can make roads slippery and visibility poor. Being able to see clearly through the windshield dramatically improves your chances of avoiding a collision during unsafe road conditions. Rain-X is an excellent product for winter preparation and any other time when wet weather is a concern.


Replace Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers are an essential safety feature of any vehicle, and replacing them regularly can help improve safety. While most often recognized for keeping your view clear during a rainstorm, functional windshield wipers are essential during winter.


Windshield wipers wear out over time like any other vehicle component, making them less effective at cleaning your windshield. A good rule of thumb is to replace your wipers every six months. However, if your wipers are worn or damaged, they may need to be replaced more frequently.


Winter weather is tough on wipers. Cold temperatures, snow, and ice can freeze the rubber contact strips, cracking the seal, and leaving streaks or missed spots. If your wipers are already worn or damaged, they may not be able to handle the additional strain of winter weather and may fail when you need them most.


Check Tire Tread

Your tire tread is the raised rubber along the surface of your tire that helps provide traction by gripping the road. Tire trends naturally erode through friction over time. If your treads have worn away beyond the minimum height recommended by the manufacturer, consider replacing them as soon as possible. To check the tread depth of your tires, you will need a tread depth gauge, a small tool that looks like a ruler.


Before you start:

  1. Remove any debris and clean the area to get an accurate reading.
  2. Press the tread depth gauge firmly down until the indicator is fully seated.
  3. Note the tread height so you can compare it later and observe any unusual wear patterns that might indicate a more serious mechanical problem.


With adequate tire tread, your vehicle should provide a smooth, safe ride, but without it, you will have difficulty braking, turning, or accelerating. This dramatically increases the risk of losing control and accidents, especially on ice or snow. In addition, tires with worn treads are more prone to hydroplaning, a phenomenon on wet roads which causes the tires to skip along the surface of the water at high speeds. By maintaining proper tire tread depth, you can help improve your vehicle’s overall safety and performance during the winter months when driving conditions can be challenging.


Get a Safety Inspection

A safety inspection is the best way to determine if a vehicle is safe to operate. During the winter, when the roads can be slippery and dangerous due to ice and snow, a mechanic can check the brakes, tires, lights, wipers, and heating and cooling systems to ensure they are functioning correctly. If issues are detected, they can be repaired before they have a chance to cause an accident. 



By paying attention to these critical areas, you can help ensure that your vehicle is ready to handle the challenges of winter driving and reduce the risk of accidents. Even when exercising caution, an accident can still affect you. If you or someone you know has already been injured in a car accident, protect yourself from further hardship by contacting Lee Law Offices for the best representation.