How to Prevent a Car Accident in the Snow
Winter has already arrived in many places across the nation, including Wisconsin. If you are not already prepared for winter driving, it is time to do so now. First, make sure your car is winter-ready. If you are mechanically handy, you can do many of the following tasks yourself, or take your car to the dealer or a trusted auto mechanic. Here are some helpful tips on how to prevent a car accident in the snow:
- Top off your antifreeze.
- Check your wiper blades and install new ones if necessary.
- Fill up your washer fluid, and keep an extra bottle of washer fluid in your trunk.
- Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times. Add granola bars, a blanket and water bottles in case you are stranded out in the cold.
- Make sure your oil has been changed within the past three months or 3,000 miles.
- If your batter is older than three years, have it checked, and replaced, if necessary.
- Check your tire pressure monthly. The correct pressure for your tires should be listed on the technical information sheet on the driver’s side door, or in your owner’s manual, or you can have them checked at a tire store.
So, now that your car is winter-ready, do you know how to drive in snow and ice? If you grew up driving in winter weather you probably do, but if you have only lived in areas that never get snow or ice, then move to an area that does, you may need some winter driving lessons in order to stay safe.
- You have probably heard that you should always turn in to a skid. Before you get to that point, do your best to avoid a skid entirely by: driving slowly, avoiding hard braking or accelerating, avoiding taking curves too fast, and falsely believing an all-wheel or four-wheel drive can be driven as usual in the snow. It can be extremely frightening when your car skids on ice or packed snow, but it is essential that you remain calm, and control the skid. If you do find yourself in a skid, keep both hands on the wheel, let off the gas pedal, keep your eyes on where you want your car to go, even if you are in a spin, and steer to the same side the back end of the car is sliding towards for a rear-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle. If you are driving a front-wheel drive vehicle, gently straighten the steering wheel.
- Use your brakes very gingerly in a snowy or icy situation—rather than pushing down hard on the brake pedal, pump it gently. When you brake hard, you are almost guaranteed to go into a skid.
- Never assume the roads are not icy simply because the temperatures are not below freezing. Any time the temps drop to 40 degrees, particularly when it is windy, ice can form on the roads. Some areas, such as bridges, underpasses and low or shaded areas can look dry, when in fact they are covered by a thin sheet of ice, known as black ice.
- It cannot be said enough—slow down when road conditions and visibility are bad. It is much better to take longer to get to your destination than to find yourself in a ditch, or in an accident with another car. Along with slowing your speed, increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. If the car in front skids and you have to apply your brakes, you will need the extra distance.
If you do find yourself involved in a car accident in winter conditions, you must take steps to minimize the damage to your vehicle and reduce injuries. If you are able, get your car to a safe place, however if your car cannot be moved, stay inside until help arrives. If you are outside the car, you risk being hit by another car who skids in the same area as you skidded. Finally, call an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident, to ensure your rights and your future are properly protected.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, it is important to speak to an experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyer as soon as possible. At Aiken & Scoptur, S.C., we work with credible expert professionals to investigate and document car accident cases.
Our Milwaukee accident attorneys are dedicated to getting clients the full compensation they deserve. We take all personal injury cases on contingency, so you will not pay us a fee unless we help you obtain money damages. To discuss your case with an experienced trial lawyer, call us at 414-914-2803 or contact us today. We represent clients throughout the state from offices in Wauwatosa and Wild Rose.