5 Tips on How to Stay Safe After a Winter Car Accident
It’s finally winter driving season in Milwaukee. Most people know what to do to try to avoid an accident, many don’t know what to do after one. It’s important knowledge to have, because the results of a car accident can be just as dangerous as the car accident itself — especially when it’s cold and snowy.
Here are five tips to consider if you’re in an accident this winter to help keep yourself and others safe:
1 – Make sure everyone’s OK — then get off the road if you can. The safety of everyone involved in a crash is the first concern, of course. So, check on the occupants of each vehicle and call for emergency assistance if it’s needed. Then, if the vehicles are drivable, get them off the road as soon – and as carefully – as possible.
2 – Stay in your car if you can’t safely move away. If you can’t get your car off the road, but you can get off the road, wait until there’s no traffic around and then move well out of the way. Otherwise, stay in the car so you’re protected from other vehicles.
3 – Stay visible — and warm. Turn on your hazard lights and put up road flares so other vehicles know something is wrong. And, grab your vehicle emergency kit (you have one, right?) for blankets and extra clothing. If you’ve run off the road and you’re still in your car, make sure nothing is blocking your exhaust pipe. Otherwise carbon monoxide may build up.
4 – If you’re stranded, stay put. Running off the road in a remote area is scary, but resist the urge to try to walk for help. You risk getting lost, especially during a storm, if you set off on foot.
5 – See a crash? Don’t always stop to help. Being a Good Samaritan could cause more problems than it solves. So, if those involved aren’t in immediate danger, call 911 and let the professionals help with medical aid and traffic control.
It’s not always easiest thing to do, but keeping a cool head after a car accident will do more than help everyone get through a stressful situation — it will help keep everyone safer, too.
What to Consider When you Approach Snowplows
The snow is falling at a regular rate now and snowplows on the roads will be a common sight. Here are some simple tips to help you safely travel when you encounter a snowplow.
Don’t crowd a snow plow or travel beside it. Snow plows travel slowly, make wide turns, stop often, overlap lanes, and exit the road frequently.
The road behind an active snow plow is safer to drive on. If you find yourself behind a snow plow, stay behind it or use caution when passing.
When you are driving behind a snow plow, don’t follow or stop too closely. A snow plow operator’s field-of-vision is limited; if you can’t see the mirrors, the driver can’t see you. Also, materials used to de-ice the road could hit your vehicle.
Snow plows can throw up a cloud of snow that can reduce your visibility to zero in less time than you can react. Never drive into a snow cloud – it can conceal vehicles or hazards.
6 Extreme Cold Weather Driving Tips
1 – On the road: Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. Accelerate and brake slowly on snowy roads. Do not steer quickly. Allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
2 – Taking a hill: Get some momentum before you start up a hill, and let it carry you to the top. Avoid hitting the gas pedal on the way up because it can cause your wheels to spin. Once you’re at the top,reduce your speed and descend slowly.
3 – Getting a grip: Since black ice can be hard to spot, aim your car for spots on the road that offer better traction. This could be an area where sand or salt has been spread or higher parts of the road that are less prone to standing water. Even driving over a snow-covered part of the road is preferable to driving over ice.
4 – Getting stuck: Stay with the vehicle and don’t walk outside in severe weather. Keep the dome light on, because it uses a small amount of electricity and attach brightly colored cloth to the window. Conserve gas by turning the engine on only periodically to warm the car. Again, make sure the tailpipe is clear of snow.
5 – Getting stranded: Do not leave your car unless you know exactly where you are, how far it is to possible help, and are certain you will improve your situation. To attract attention, light two flares and place one at each end of the car a safe distance away.
If you are sure the car’s exhaust pipe is not blocked, run the engine and heater for about 10 minutes every hour or so depending upon the amount of gas in the tank. Keep at least one window open slightly. Heavy snow and ice can seal a car shut.
6 – Skid recovery: If your car starts to skid, steer it in the direction you want the car to go. Avoid slamming or pumping the brake pedal.
If you or a loved one is injured due to a winter car accident, let us help! Call Jacobson, Schrinsky & Houck in Milwaukee today at (414) 223-4444 to have one of our caring lawyers come out to meet you. Get car accident help today!
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