Weathering Winter Collisions: Driving Protection, Precautions, and Representation
Snowy weather is not a foreign concept in Wisconsin, and yet every time there is a snowstorm, it’s as if everyone around you has forgotten how to drive. During blizzards, some people think it is wise to drive at ridiculous speeds of 60, 70, and the occasional 80 mph, and then become surprised when they slide all over the place. Don’t they realize that snow is slippery?
You’ll admit that you absolutely hate driving in the winter, and even at the slightest hint of snow you drive ultra-cautiously. Unfortunately, though, you seem to be in the minority. So, as a responsible adult, what can you do to make winter driving safer for your family? Is there a way to prepare for a collision? What if the unthinkable happens? Where should you turn?
Winter Driving Safety Hacks
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 56% of all collisions occur during winter months as a result of careless driving in poor weather. Every year in the United States, an estimated 150,000 people are injured and 2,000 die as a direct result of winter traffic collisions. These statistics alone are almost enough to keep you off the road until spring, but unfortunately, that isn’t really an option. However, you can take proper precautions to lessen your risks, as well as know what to do in case your family does suffer a collision.
Before an Accident Happens: Precautionary Measures
The National Highway Safety Administration has performed extensive research into winter driving safety, and encourages drivers in heavy snowfall areas to follow these precautions to protect against winter weather risks:
- Routinely check your car. Proper maintenance is important when driving year-round, but especially during cold winter months. Make sure your vehicle has a complete checkup, including topping off fluids, brake checks, and filling tires for proper air pressure.
- Clean up first. Before moving your car, clean snow, ice, and debris from the windows, windshield, forward sensors, cameras, and lights.
- Plan a route. Make sure you’re aware of the route you’re taking before you leave, even if you use a GPS system, and let others know your path and anticipated arrival time. This way, if you get stuck, they’ll know where to find you.
- Drive slowly. It’s hard to control and stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered surface.
- Increase your following distance. Since your stopping distance is increased on slippery roads, you need to make sure that you allow enough space between you and the car ahead of you in case you need to stop abruptly.
During an Accident: When You Start to Lose Control of Your Vehicle
- Stay calm. Losing control of your vehicle can be extremely scary, but losing control of yourself can make matters worse. Stay calm, breathe, and try to remember these safety tips.
- Know how to stop. If you have anti-lock brakes, apply firm, continuous pressure. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, pump the brakes gently to come to a smooth stop
- Don’t brake too hard. If you find yourself in a skid or slide, ease your foot off the gas while carefully steering in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go. Keep your feet off of the pedals until you can regain control and stop sliding. Braking will only cause the tires to skid more
- Refrain from over correcting. When in a skid, or when pushed by another car, over correcting could cause more harm than good. Try to maneuver your wheel toward an open area.
After a Crash: Seek Justice
- File an injury and damages claim for compensation. Damage costs can be extensive, and injury treatments can last years and be exorbitantly expensive. If you weren’t at fault, you deserve compensation to offset these costs
- Contact an experienced car accident lawyer. We can help you get the rightful compensation you and your family deserve, while protecting you against insurance tricks and stress. You deserve excellent representation; call us today
How Do You Stay Safe?
Considering the frustrations and dangers of winter driving, safety should be automatic. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of their risks, let alone how to help avoid them. Need more information about car collision claims? Contact us to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about a recent collision.