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Winter Is Here: The Hazards of Driving in Snow and Ice Season

Jan 10, 2022 | Auto Accident

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Winter weather presents car accident hazards that could lead to serious injuries and financial losses. Trust us, we’re in the business of ensuring accident victims obtain their due recompense. So, whether it’s preventing frostbite during a vehicle breakdown or avoiding black ice while on a road trip, here’s what you should know what to do when driving during Indiana winters.

What to Do if Your Vehicle Breaks Down in the Snow

Before winter begins, you should stock your vehicle with some essentials.

  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Blankets
  • Bottled water
  • Snacks
  • De-icer
  • Windshield brush/ice scraper
  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Flare

While having these supplies will help you stay comfortable and avoid frostbite while stuck on the side of the road, they won’t help you prevent collisions with vehicles that struggle to see you or lose control due to poor road conditions.

You must call 911 immediately to get aid and make yourself visible while on the side of the road. During the night, you should ask that someone transport you to a hotel to spend the night until you can repair your vehicle and get back on the road. You don’t want to spend the night on the side of the road.

Failing to make yourself visible and alert law enforcement after a collision could leave you liable for accidents if your vehicle is disabled in the roadway.

What to Do if the Weather Suddenly Turns Bad While on a Trip

When you embark on a trip, the weather might look fine. Sometimes winter storms come out of nowhere or are more severe than weather forecasters believe they will be. When this happens, you should get off the road as soon as possible.

Pull off into a parking lot if visibility is bad and wait for conditions to improve. Or if you’re close to home, turn around and go back. Unless you’re traveling due to an emergency, it simply isn’t worth it to put yourself in harm’s way to go somewhere.

Slow down and drive very carefully in changing weather conditions. Don’t be afraid to move into the slow lane and be the slowest car out there to keep yourself and your passengers safe.

Tips for Safe Driving in Snow

If you must drive in the snow this winter, make sure you use these safe driving tips to keep yourself safe on Indiana roadways.

  1. Slow down. When traveling at slower speeds, you’ll be less likely to lose control of your vehicle and cause an accident.
  2. Distance yourself from other motorists. Following another motorist too closely is a recipe for disaster during poor conditions. Give yourself plenty of room to stop or adjust to changing road conditions by allowing more room between you and other cars.
  3. Brake early. The sooner you begin braking, the less likely you’ll be to need to apply your brakes heavily, which can lead to spin outs during snowy or icy conditions.
  4. Avoid using cruise control. During bad weather, you want to maintain control of your vehicle, which means not using cruise control because you’ll be more likely to slide.
  5. Stay engaged. While distracted driving is always dangerous, it’s even more dangerous to allow your eyes to leave the roadway even for a second during a storm. Turn off the radio, check your mirrors regularly, and ask your passengers to be quiet and avoid talking to you so that your eyes and mind are completely on the task at hand.

Even with the best prevention and adherence to safe driving tips, you might end up dealing with a car accident this winter. In that case, be sure to contact Stewart & Stewart as soon as possible to discuss your options and get your car fixed and your medical bills paid. Schedule your free car accident case evaluation today.

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