Minnesotans know that safe driving during the winter is all about knowing how to maneuver on the road.
Each year, 1,300 people are killed because of winter-related accidents in the United States. Another 116,800 people are injured due to weather conditions. We know that driving in the winter can be scary. But by being prepared and informed, you can keep yourself safe through the season and beyond. If you’re the parent of a young driver, teach them these tips so they can be more prepared for the coming winter season.
Preparing ahead of time for winter accidents will reduce the likelihood that they occur. Most winter accidents are avoidable with the help of a well-maintained vehicle and proper knowledge about maneuvers on icy or snowy roads. The best way to avoid an accident in the winter is to stay home when road conditions are too bad. When that’s not possible, you should make sure you take all necessary precautions on the road.
Icy roads and roads with black ice can cause vehicles to slide around. If the driver doesn’t know how to handle a sliding vehicle, an accident could occur. During a snowstorm, visibility is often bad, meaning you may not be able to see as well as you usually would. Turning on your high-beams can make the situation worse and cause issues for other drivers.
Bald tires can also cause accidents in the winter as your tires will more easily cause your car to slip around on icy roads. You’ll also have trouble recovering from a slide if your tires are missing traction.
When driving in the winter, you should avoid back roads and other roads that may not be plowed or well maintained. Travel on highways as much as you can as they’re usually the safest and cleanest in the winter time.
Understand Potential Road Hazards
Before you leave your house, think about what potential road hazards may cause an accident to occur. If the roads are too bad, consider staying home. Staying home during a bad storm is the best choice you can make for the safety of yourself and others. This is especially important if you don’t have somewhere to be. However, this is not the case for many people who are driving to work or school. If you’re an inexperienced driver or a nervous winter driver, consider asking someone more confident to drive you if you have to leave the house.
Potential road hazards in the winter include ongoing storms such as blizzards, poor road conditions such as slush, snow, and black ice, and poor visibility. All of these road hazards can cause an accident. And usually, more than one road hazard occurs at once. For example, while there’s a blizzard, there’s going to be poor visibility and slippery roads.
Pack a Bag In Case of Emergencies
Having an emergency kit packed and ready to go in the truck of your car is incredibly important in the winter time. After an accident occurs you may have to wait an extended amount of time for the police to arrive. You may not be able to rely on your car for heat, depending on its state after the accident. You’ll want to include extra layers, blankets, water, snacks, a flashlight, an extra cell phone battery, gloves or mittens, snow boots, energy bars, and a first aid kit.
It’s also important to let a friend or family member know where you’re going. Be sure to tell them what route you’re taking and when you should arrive at your destination. This way, if something goes wrong and you don’t text them that you’ve arrived, they can help you.
Make Sure Your Car is Winter Ready
Before hitting the streets in the winter, you want to make sure that your car is ready to take on any potential road hazards. Change your regular tires out for snow tires and put on snow chains for added traction on really bad days. In case you get stuck in the snow somewhere, you’ll also want to have a shovel, salt bags, an ice scraper, and a remote jump starter. These can all help you if you get trapped or stuck in a snowbank.
What to do if You’re Involved in a Minnesota Car Accident in the Winter
If you’re involved in a winter car accident, your insurance may cover any damage that you do to your own vehicle, and any medical care you need if you’re injured, depending on your insurance company. If your accident is caused because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them.
Negligent driving is more dangerous during the winter. However, regardless of weather conditions, it is always a contributing factor for car accidents. Standard negligence in car accidents can appear as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or while distracted. During the winter, there are new negligent conditions introduced by weather patterns. This includes driving with bald tires and not properly maintaining a vehicle.
Car accidents can lead to severe injuries like spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, back injuries, and even death. You may encounter large amounts of debt after your accident, but your attorney will be able to help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Contact an Experienced Minnesota Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in the winter time, please contact our skilled attorneys here at Sand Law. We’re ready to take on your case and help you get the compensation and justice that you deserve. For more information, please contact us online through our chat box option, or call us at 651-291-7263.