Stuck in the Snow? Follow these Tips
Already this winter, Wisconsin has seen its fair share of accidents. In December, a drunken snow plow driver caused a head-on collision in Jefferson County. A teen was in critical condition after hitting an area of blowing and drifting snow along U.S. Highway 63. And a 34-year-old Milawukee man died of hypothermia after fleeing the scene of his car accident. These accidents highlight the dangers of winter weather driving and the tragedies that can occur.
Stuck in the Snow Tips
If you suddenly find yourself stuck in a snowbank or on the side of the road, there are ways to get your car out safely.
- Don’t Stop Moving – if your car is still moving in the snow, keep it moving. Even a little bit of movement is better than nothing and can increase your likelihood of getting out. If your wheels get stuck and start to spin, stop. Spinning the wheels in snow will only make it worse.
- Shift to Low Gear – make sure your car is in the lowest gear possible if it is an automatic. This will give you more control and allow your tires to grip the snow and not spin out.
- Rock Your Car – this maneuver requires you to put the engine in forward gear and then shift it into reverse. Keep doing this maneuver, gently rocking the car back and forth – this may help your car gain traction so you can begin driving.
- Sand It – you need something to get your tires to grip onto. Consider placing down some sand, rocks, or even small branches. Many drivers keep a bag of kitty litter in their car for some additional traction in emergency situations.
- Dig Yourself Out – if you carry a small shovel in your car or if you have a stick or a cup, you may be able to dig yourself out of the situation. The main idea is to dig a long ramp to flat ground so your car can get free.
- Call for Assistance – there are times when you simply cannot get out of the snow by yourself. Always have the number of an emergency roadside assistance program in your car so you can call for help.
Stuck in a Snowy Accident Tips
State officials and safety experts have compiled a list of tips for drivers who are involved in a car accident.
- Stay in Your Car – while you may feel the need to exit your vehicle, the safest place to be is inside of your car. Pile ups are especially tricky and very dangerous. Stay inside of your car until the police arrive. Just call 911 and do not get out of your car. Many drivers have been hit by oncoming vehicles after they have exited their vehicles.
- Drive Your Car to Safety – while you may believe that you need to preserve an accident scene, if you can drive your car, experts say that it is best to move to a safe location and then call 911. The officer will be able to determine liability based on your statements and on the damage done to your vehicle. Driving your car off the road and somewhere safe will reduce the likelihood of a pile up accident occurring.
- Bundle Up & Use Emergency Kit – all drivers should carry around a winterized emergency kit for these very instances. When you are involved in an accident, bundle up, call for help, and use emergency flares or signs. This can help you stay warm and alert others to your situation.
If you are involved in a car accident this winter, it is important to know that there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your rights to compensation. The first step is calling our office for a free consultation. We can review your case and determine if you are eligible to file a claim. We will fight aggressively for you and ensure that you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
Contact Our Milwaukee Car Accident Lawyers Today
At Aiken & Scoptur, S.C., we know how to take on large insurance companies after a car accident – and we know how to win. Our Milwaukee car 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.