Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Winter Driving: How to Avoid Injuries This Year

The holidays are over, but the worst of the winter weather may still be ahead. That means icy roads, low visibility, and a lot of accidents. But that doesn’t have to be your fate. With the right preparation coupled with good decision-making, you can avoid the injuries that come from car accidents.

Here are a few ways to stay safe out on the roads this winter.

Be Prepared

Before you hit the highway, you should run a complete check on your car. Make sure your battery is good, your tire tread is deep, and your windshield wipers are functional. You should keep your windows clear, use no-freeze fluid in your window-washer reservoir, and make sure you have enough antifreeze.

You should also have an emergency kit in your vehicle. At a minimum, make sure it includes a flashlight, jumper cables, and a snow brush and ice scraper. You may also want to include some abrasive material (like sand, kitty litter, or even spare floor mats), a shovel, flares, water, and blankets in case you get stuck in the snow or stranded.

Be Protected

If you do get into an accident or are stranded, stay with your car and don’t over exert yourself. Make sure other cars and rescuers can see you by putting bright markers on your antenna or windows and shine the dome light, if possible. If you must run your car, make sure the exhaust pipe is clear and only run it long enough to stay warm.

Be Preventative

The best way to avoid injury is to avoid the accidents that cause them. Try to do your driving during daylight hours and never when fatigued. Maintain a safe distance between you and other vehicles and know how to use your car’s brakes: you can stomp on antilock brakes, but you must pump non-antilock brakes. And if you do start to slide on icy or snowy roads, steer into the skid.

Hopefully we all stay safe and injury-free this winter. But if you have been injured in a car accident, you may want to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case.

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