PREVENTING A CAR ACCIDENT
When driving in the wintertime, preventing a car accident should be a priority for all motorists. If you live in a climate where there is excessive rain, snowfall, and ice, you will have experienced factors that increase the chances of collision and wreckages in these conditions.
Car accidents are statistically 20% more likely to occur in the winter months. During this time of year, days are shorter and the weather conditions more dangerous. If you are concerned about driving this winter, here are some tips on how to prevent a car accident in winter.
WINTER DRIVING SAFETY TIPS
First, let’s start with some general winter driving safety tips. Here are the top three most important points to consider before you get behind the wheel in cold weather.
- Check, and consider replacing your tires. Your car’s tires connect its body to the earth. Their condition can make a difference between a safe journey and a frightening collision. For wintertime, when barely visible ice can cause lethal outcomes, investing in tires that have the best traction on slippery surfaces is definitely worthwhile.
- Stock up on antifreeze. Frost and vapor accumulation on your windshield can make it impossible to see and drive safely. Make sure your vehicle has an appropriate amount of antifreeze washer fluid so that you can ensure a clear view of the road and a safer journey.
- Take your time. Preparing to drive in the winter requires more time. Properly defrosting your windscreen can take up to ten minutes – which means extra time sitting in the car before you begin your journey. In addition, driving carefully and below the speed limit is wise in winter. If you are rushing to work or late to an event, you could compromise your driving safety and increase the chances of a collision.
HOW TO SPOT BLACK ICE ON THE ROAD
Black ice is a wafer-thin layer of ice that accumulates on roadways after rain and snowfall. It is very dangerous because it is both extremely slippery and hard to see without looking closely. Black ice can cause your vehicle to skid, making it difficult for you to control the moving car. This can lead to accidents and collisions with dangerous consequences.
So how can you spot black ice on the road? Unlike the matte black tarmac, which does not shine when light hits it, black ice will glimmer when sunlight falls onto it. If you are driving and see a dark sheen on the road ahead, it is time to slow down and try to avoid this patch – it could well be black ice.
WHAT TO DO RIGHT AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT IN WINTER
Unfortunately, even the best-prepared drivers still encounter accidents. If you are in a car crash this winter, here are the immediate steps you should take.
- If you are able to, carefully exit your vehicle and make your way to the side of the road. If anyone is in the car with you, help them exit the vehicle too. If you or the passengers are injured, remain as still and as calm as possible.
- If the passengers are unhurt, call the police and state that you have been in an accident. If there are injuries, call for an ambulance right away.
- Remain at the scene, even if your car isn’t badly damaged and still drivable. It is important to stay in a safe, visible place next to the scene until help arrives.
- Take note of the state of the car, the registration number, and insurance information of any other vehicles involved, and try to remember exactly what happened. This is all crucial information for insurance and police statement purposes.
- Wait for further instruction from the authorities.
HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE TO FILE A POLICE REPORT AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
You must file a report of your accident within 24 hours of the accident occurring. If you wait longer, this could jeopardize your insurance claim, as well as break the law.
A report will be filed if you call the police right away at the scene. If the accident is minor with no other vehicles involved, and you leave the scene, you must call and report the incident within one day.
WHEN TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
Nobody wants to have to hire an attorney after they have been in an accident. After all, most people want simply to forget the whole experience which has been both traumatic and expensive.
Nevertheless, if you have collided with public or private property or another car, you should hire an attorney after your car accident. A legal professional can help protect you against unjust charges and ensure that you can truly move on from the experience.
When you make an insurance claim, the details of your crash – how it happened, the factors that contributed to the accident such as weather, and your driving history – will all be considered. Insurance companies may try to implement a variety of tactics to avoid having to compensate you, and they will use any loopholes that they can find to avoid paying a claim.
For this reason, it is important to hire an attorney to ensure you equalize the situation. A qualified attorney will know the same legal maneuvering tactics the insurance companies are using and will be able to counter against them.
Additionally, if the fault of the crash is disputed – for example, if your version of events does not match with that of the other driver, and an agreement cannot be made – you may wind up in court. Generally, it is wise to hire an attorney if another driver is involved in the crash; while there may be no legal disputes, it is helpful to have legal representation to protect yourself against liability.
HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO PROTECT AGAINST ACCIDENT LIABILITY
Preventing a car accident in winter can be done by following some simple, yet important steps. However, we may still encounter these situations beyond our control. If you find yourself in a legal battle following your accident or collision, you should hire an attorney immediately to ensure you are protected or are receiving the justice you deserve.