According to the Washington State Department of Traffic, snow is in the forecast for the mountain areas of Washington State this weekend. Our car accident attorneys at Phillips Law Firm know that adverse weather contributes to 25% of all automobile accidents so we wanted to share a few tips on how to stay safe on the roads during the fall and winter weather to come.
Avoid commuting during snowy weather if possible
The safest method to avoid a snow-related accident is to avoid driving in the snow. This solution is not practical for all people because after all, we do need to make a living somehow and sometimes that involves commuting. Only conquer the roads when it is a necessity to commute. Make sure to keep up with proper maintenance with your vehicle, especially your tires. Purchasing snow tires or tires with more traction may be a good investment for the months with poor weather. Another option is to purchase tire chains for your vehicle. Try to plan any vehicle modifications ahead of time so you are not commuting to a mechanic shop in dangerous weather without proper traction.
Reduce your driving speed and use extreme caution
According to http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov you should slow your driving speed by 50% on snow packed roads to reduce risk of an accident. When you do not have control of your vehicle you put yourself and others at risk for a collision, rollover accident, or even wrongful death. Be on the lookout for drivers who appear to be struggling or panicked with their driving.
Stay inside your vehicle
If you get in a snow-related accident, it is important to stay inside your vehicle after the collision. With slick or icy road conditions, other commuters may lose control of their vehicle as well. You have a better chance of avoiding bodily injury if you remain inside your vehicle for protection. When police or paramedics arrive to the scene of the accident they will more easily be able to find you to provide help quickly.
Snow reduces visibility.
Clear off all snow debris from your vehicle before you begin driving. While unexpected snowfall can cause you to run late for work or personal appointments, it is crucial that you do not have any frost or snow on your car. There are windshield washer fluids available in stores with a de-icer component that can help you get rid of frost more quickly than scraping.
A common driver mistake is forgetting to scrape the snow on the roof of your vehicle. When you begin driving, the heat from inside your vehicle will melt any snow left on the roof of your vehicle, causing a danger that the loose debris may slide down your windshield. If the snow pins your windshield wipers down from the weight, you will be blind of your surroundings. Imagine if this happened to you on a freeway, an accident with almost certainly be inevitable.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Make sure to reduce your driving speed and always watch for black ice. Many snow related accidents are due to black ice because it is an unexpected danger. If you encounter any driving trouble make sure to honk your horn to alert other drivers’ of your lack of control. Do not be afraid to use your horn, that’s why you have one.
Have you been injured by a negligent driver?
When you properly prepare your vehicle and use extra caution, your chances of avoiding an accident are much better. Unfortunately accidents occur at the negligence of other people, causing devastation to you and your loved ones. If you have been injured in a car accident call our personal injury attorneys at Phillips Law Firm at (800) 708-6000. We offer a FREE case consultation 24/7 and offer a no fee promise. Our no free promise means that you do not have to pay an attorney fee if we do not recover compensation for you.