Although we have enjoyed unprecedented mild temperatures this December, the official first date of Winter is right around the corner. If you’re dreaming of a “White Christmas” with picturesque, fluffy white snow, there are certain things you can do to prepare before the cold weather hits Central New York. Most would agree, it is lovely to admire the wondrous white outdoors from the comfort of inside your warm home. However, if you are outside and traveling on the roads, it is not so charming and, therefore, very important to remember that winter weather driving conditions can quickly become dangerous.
Car accidents and injuries are more apparent in the winter weather due to slippery conditions and more traffic on the roads from Holiday travel. Drunk driving accidents are unfortunately very common this time of year as well. However, fatal car accidents can be avoided.
Motor vehicle accidents and serious injury can be prevented by following a series of tips:
1. Always Inspect your Car!
Before traveling long distances, make sure your vehicle is well-equipped for the journey. Check your headlights to see if they are working properly for night driving as well as any inclement weather you may run into. Inspecting your oil levels, engine temperature, and tire pressure is also ideal. Here’s a final tip: fill your gas tank. This way, if you’re ever stuck somewhere or isolated for a long period of time, you will have a full tank of gas. It also prevents the gas line from freezing.
2. Always Reduce Speed!
It is not a race to see who can get to Grandma’s house the fastest. Slow down and allow yourself more time to stop if needed. Speeding, especially in dangerous weather conditions, is the second leading cause of auto accidents.
3. Always avoid distractions!
The leading cause of car crashes is distracted driving. Texting and driving accidents are sadly all too common, especially since they can be so easily prevented. Make your passenger the “designated texter” and do not use your cell phone while driving. Consider downloading an app to prevent distracted driving that will block incoming texts and send an auto-reply to notify your friends or family that you are driving and it is not safe to call or text you. All the major wireless carriers have these special apps to help us avoid distracted driving.
4. Always Give Yourself Plenty of Time!
You do not want to feel rushed and stressed on the road. Leave early, there is less traffic earlier in the day, and driving during daylight hours provides better visibility.
5. Always ensure your exterior exhaust is clear of snow if you are stranded in your car!
Immediately ensure that the exterior exhaust on the car is clear of snow so you don’t get carbon monoxide buildup in your car. Turn your car off. Only turn it on once in a while to heat it up, and then turn it back off to conserve gas. Continue to check the tailpipe each time you turn the heater on. And, if stranded remember to put your hazard lights on or place roadside flares near your car so you are visible to other motorists and potential rescuers.
6. Always Pack an Emergency Kit
If the unfortunate occurs, you may be wondering what to do if you are in a car accident. Making sure you and your passengers are alright and calling for help is the first step. However, what if calling for help is not possible? Before traveling, make sure you pack an emergency kit. A cell phone charger with an adapter to plug into a lighter is very handy if your battery is compromised, and is just one of many things you should keep in your car for the trip. Other items to include: a blanket, extra hats, gloves, socks, boots, water to stay hydrated and snacks, a first aid kit, shovel, an ice scraper, a flashlight, jumper cables, reflectors and/or flares, and matches. These items will help you stay warm enough until you can obtain the attention of another driver and get help.
We hope it never happens, but if you are ever hurt in a car accident during any season, please, call the personal injury lawyers at Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi and Pearlman and receive a free consultation today. We are personal injury attorneys who know the law and will protect you and your rights. We have years of experience when it comes to motor vehicle accident lawsuits, so if you’re in a car accident you need an experienced attorney, contact us today.
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