Winter Driving Tips

This weekend the forecast for most of Missouri calls for freezing rain, sleet and ice with accumulations of up to 3/4 of an inch. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning effective Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon.  Additionally, the Missouri Department of Transportation has asked motorists to avoid travel on Missouri roads unless absolutely necessary.

If you do have to venture out this weekend, following these winter driving tips in order to stay safe:

  • Before setting off on any winter excursion, be sure to stock your vehicle with the following emergency supplies: jumper cables, ice scraper, flash light, fuel line de-icer, emergency kit, blankets and a few snacks.  You may also want to keep a bag of sand or cat litter in your car – as it can poured around tires to gain traction if you get stuck.
  • Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. Pay special attention to ensure the wiper blades and the front/rear defrosters are working properly.  And, check headlights to make sure they are clean and clear of road dirt and grim, which can make them less effective.
  • Make sure all fluids are topped off and don’t let the gas tank get below half empty.
  • Keep an eye out for black ice – which gets its name because it blends in with its surroundings. Black ice is especially dangerous because it is difficult to spot.   Look for areas of an otherwise dry roadway that appear dark and glossy.
  • Be aware of the outside temperature, as black ice typically forms when the temperature is 32 degrees or colder.   The most commons areas where black ice forms are shaded or tree-lined roadways due to the lack of sunshine and bridges/overpasses due to their ability to freeze quickly.
  • If you find your car sliding on ice, the best thing to do is stay calm. Do not make any sudden corrections or slam on your brakes.  Instead, lift your foot off the accelerator and hold the steering wheel straight.  Most patches of black ice are not that large, so if you hold the car in position on the road – chances are you’ll slid over the ice quickly.  If you feel the car skidding, turn the wheel in the direction of the skid and only apply the gas once you’ve felt the car gain traction.
  • If your car gets stuck, don’t floor the accelerator in order to ‘power out’ of the ice or snow. Instead, place the sand, cat litter, a piece of cardboard, or your car’s floor mat under the tires and gently pull out of the slippery area.

In all winter driving circumstances, proceed with caution, go slowly and you will arrive at your destination safely.

Casey & Devoti is a St. Louis-based personal injury law firm.  Together, Matt Casey and Matt Devoti have over 40 years of experience handling a variety of personal injury cases, such as:  automobile, truck and train accidents, medical malpractice, product and premises liability, elder care and sexual abuse, Workers’ Compensation, and wrongful death.  If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to compensation for things like medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering.  Matt and Matt are happy to meet for a free, no-obligation consultation to review the circumstances of your injury.

Contact us today:  (314) 421-0763 or

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