Now that it’s the middle of winter, you’ve probably gotten the hang of driving in the snow again. However, there are nearly 157,000 traffic accidents each year due to snow and ice-covered roadways. Nearly 117,000 of those accidents cause injuries. Oftentimes, accidents in the winter happen no matter how cautious you are. There are some preventative measures you can take to keep yourself and others safe, though. Read on to see what they are.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people don’t take the time to remove the snow from their cars before hitting the road. However, skipping this imperative step can lead to major consequences. If you don’t clear your front and rear windshields and all passenger windows, you can’t see well enough to avoid accidents. You need to be able to see when you back up, switch lanes, and make turns–not just when you’re driving forward. Get an automatic car starter or start your car early. You might have to brush away some snow and ice, but it will take much less time if your car has been running for a while.
This seems like another obvious tip, but once people grow accustomed to driving in winter weather, they tend to speed up. Your tires won’t grip the road as well in snow or ice, and it will take longer to brake, accelerate, and turn. It’s best to drive 45 mph or slower in snow or ice. This can give you more time to react or reduce the damage if you are in a collision.
Maintain Your Car
It’s especially important to maintain your car in the winter. Worn wiper blades can leave snow, ice, and dirt on your windshield and block your vision, and low tire tread will give you less control on roadways. Replace them and make sure everything else is working properly to avoid breakdowns. Other drivers will be more likely to hit you if you break down on the side of the road during a blizzard or storm because they won’t see you or won’t be able to stop in time.
Many people are tempted to look at their phones or adjust the radio, but not paying attention in inclement weather can cause accidents. Remember that your car won’t stop, swerve, or turn as quickly in snow and ice, so you need to watch the road and keep both hands on the wheel. It’s even a good idea to lower your heat to stay alert. You will also want to make sure that your car isn’t multi-tasking–if you try to brake and turn at the same time, you might lose control. Be sure to slow down while you’re still going straight when the roadways are slick before making a turn.
In an Accident?
Many times, winter accidents happen despite your best efforts. If you hit someone or someone hits you, be sure to move to a safe area, stop, and turn off your car. Make sure you aren’t injured before you try to get out of the driver’s seat. If you’re okay, get out and see if the other driver, passengers, or pedestrians are okay as well. If anyone is injured, call 911. If everyone is alright, you should also call the police to file a report. Then, exchange insurance information. If you can, take a few pictures of the damage while you’re at the scene.
Get a Car Accident Lawyer
If you, the other driver, passengers, or pedestrians were hurt in the accident, you may want to get a car accident Lawyer or personal injury Lawyer. A car accident Lawyer can advise you on your next steps. You may not think that you need a car accident Lawyer or personal injury Lawyer; however, even if no one is exhibiting any signs of injury right away, it doesn’t mean they won’t later. It isn’t a bad idea to see a doctor after you’ve been in an accident as well. You can even consult with a car accident Lawyer or personal injury Lawyers to see if you will need to take any action.
If the weather isn’t safe, it’s best not to drive in it. However, taking these preventative measures this winter can help you avoid accidents when you have to go out.