Winter Accident Checklist: 4 Steps to Follow After a CrashDecember 9, 2016
Winter has arrived in many parts of the country, which means that driving conditions are about to become a lot more dangerous. In 2014, approximately 90 people died and 6,400 became injured every day due to motor vehicle accidents, and weather-related car crashes make up a substantial portion of those accidents. In fact, around 24% of all accidents are related to weather conditions.
Although we can’t control the weather, we can control our driving habits. By following these six safety tips, you’ll have a much better chance of avoiding a motor vehicle accident this winter. And, of course, if you are injured in a car accident, get in touch with an experienced car wreck lawyer right away.
- Plan ahead
Although you should avoid traveling in inclement weather if possible, sometimes you can’t avoid driving under bad conditions. But you’ll reduce your risk of being involved in an auto accident simply by planning ahead. From watching the weather forecast to looking further ahead down the road in front of you, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. By knowing what to expect, you’re less likely to be caught off-guard.
- Prepare for the worst
Make sure your car is adequately prepared for any kind of emergency situation. Before the bad weather hits, make sure your wiper blades have been recently replaced and that your fluid reservoirs are full. Check to see whether tires are fully inflated, that the heat functions properly, and that your gas tank is at least halfway full. It’s also a good idea to have an emergency survival kit in your car containing salt or sand, a shovel, an ice scraper/brush, first-aid supplies, food and water, a flashlight, a blanket, and more. Even if you never need to use these items, you’ll have peace of mind that you’ll be safe, no matter what.
- Clear it off
If you have any type of snow or ice on your vehicle, you need to clear it off prior to getting behind the wheel. While a little extra snow on the top of your car may not seem like a big deal to you, it can easily impact drivers behind you when it flies off. Don’t clear off just the drivers’ side. You need to have clear visibility out of every window and in every side mirror. Clearing off that little extra ice could potentially save a life.
- Slow down
Remember that speed limits are meant for traveling rates on dry roads. When the roads are wet with snow and ice, you need to drive at a slower pace. Fast speeds can cause your car to slip and slide on slick pavement, and you’ll have less time to stop. Don’t become overconfident in your driving abilities. Even the most experienced of drivers can get into trouble when they go too fast in bad weather. As a general rule, travel below the posted speed limits in inclement weather. Don’t feel pressured by other drivers to go faster than what feels safe to you.
- Put away distractions
Although it’s important to eliminate driving distractions under any conditions, it’s especially vital during times of bad weather. When visibility is decreased and you have to deal with slippery roads, wind, and other unpredictable conditions, you need to have your eyes on the road at all times. If you need to communicate with someone, do so prior to setting out on your journey. Your phone should be kept out of sight (but easy to access in case of emergency) and all other distractions should be kept to a minimum.
- Know how to brake
While we all think we know how to brake properly, your technique may need to change in the wintertime. Leave much more time to come to a stop than you think you could possibly need. Don’t use your parking break in inclement weather. And if you have a 4×4 vehicle, don’t operate under the assumption that this feature will help you stop more quickly. If you aren’t braking properly, your car could easily skid on ice and cause a motor vehicle accident.
If you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident this winter, you need the best car crash lawyer Hazard KY has to provide. Contact us right away to find out how we can help you during this tough time.