Although Las Vegas is known for its sizzling summers, it can get very cold during the winter months. While snow is infrequent, it’s common for temperatures to dip below freezing on winter nights. Driving conditions can be especially dangerous for people making trips to nearby Mount Charleston and Red Rock Canyon, where snow is more common due to higher elevations. Winter car accidents happen in Las Vegas, but many of them can be prevented if you prepare your car for winter driving.
The Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at ER Injury Attorneys recommend these four tips to prepare your car for winter in order to avoid an accident.
Check Your Tire Treads and Use Snow Tires If Needed
When roads become slippery, your tires can make all the difference between staying safe and getting into a car accident. That’s one reason why it’s so important to check your tire’s treads. Many tire shops offer this service for free. Strictly speaking, tires no longer meet U.S. safety standards if dread depth hits 2/32” or lower. However, most recommend getting your tires replaced after reaching 4/32”, especially if inclement weather is in the near future.
As mentioned above, snow is more frequent in Mount Charleston and Red Rock Canyon. Both destinations are popular with locals and tourists alike, while many locals take road trips to Tahoe to enjoy the snow.
If you typically drive in Las Vegas using summer tires, a popular choice for driving enthusiasts that prioritize handling, then you should consider changing to snow tires for the winter. Summer tires are brilliant on dry pavement, but perform poorly on roads full of snow and ice. Changing to the appropriate tires can be the difference between being able to swerve out of danger and getting into a car crash. Another option is to purchase a set of tire chains.
Monitor Your Tire Pressure Regularly
Air pressure drops with the temperature, but many drivers are unaware of how drastic the drop can be. Tires typically lose at least one pound of pressure per square inch (psi) for every 10-degree drop in temperature. In October 2022, daytime temperatures in Las Vegas were still in the 90s, while nighttime temperatures in December 2022 will dip below 30. Using a conservative 60 degree drop, let’s assume that most tires have lost at least 6 psi. This can be below the recommended inflation range.
Most tires have a recommended inflation level with a five-psi range. Let’s say that your tire manufacturer recommends 40 to 45 psi and that your tires were a perfect 45 psi in October. Barring a miracle of physics, your tires are likely below the recommended range during night drives. Low tire pressure can make for a cushier ride, but it also decreases your car’s handling, which can be crucial on winter roads. Additionally, underinflated tires can lead to heat pockets, which can cause your tires to blow out. Most tire shops offer free inflation, so these dangers are easy to avoid if you make the time.
Check Your Fluid Levels to Prepare Your Car for Winter
Although it’s not as easy as getting your tire pressure and treads checked, getting your car’s fluid levels checked is still a simple preventative measure that can greatly improve your safety. One of the best ways to prepare your car for winter is to make sure that your car’s oil, brake fluid, wiper fluid, coolant, and transmission fluid are at proper levels.
The fluids used for engine operation are vital to performance. Having them at low levels can lead to your car breaking down. Wiper fluid can make a huge difference in windshield visibility. Windshields tend to get dirty while your car is driving on dirty roads, such as those full of snow, slush, salt, and wet dirt.
One of the most common excuses for a car accident is, “I didn’t see them.” A clean windshield can help make sure that you see all vehicles and pedestrians around you.
Make a Winter Emergency Kit to Prepare Your Car For Winter
Should your car break down or you get into an accident, having an emergency kit can be huge. In addition to the typical emergency supplies, you should add items specifically for cold weather. Some of the emergency kit gear our team recommends includes:
- An ice scraper
- De-icer spray
- A collapsible snow shovel
- A blanket or sleeping bag
- A flashlight
- Spare batteries
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable food
- Jumper cables
- Road flares
- Sturdy boots or shoes
- A first aid kit
- Candles with matches or lighter
Contact ER Injury Attorneys
The team at ER Injury Attorneys hopes that this blog will help you prepare your car for winter driving. Please share it with your family and friends, especially those that live in snowy climates.
Unfortunately, accidents can happen no matter how well prepared you are for the season.
ER Injury Attorneys is available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We serve injury victims throughout Nevada, including those in all Las Vegas areas, Henderson, Summerlin, Boulder City, Laughlin, and Pahrump. Our team of award-winning attorneys has a strong track record of winning great settlements for our clients. Additionally, our staff takes great pride in treating each client with the compassion and respect they deserve. For top-level legal service coupled with a true commitment to customer care, contact ER Injury Attorneys today.