With winter in full swing, we are speaking with many clients who have been in a wreck due to bad weather conditions. While accidents are typically not caused by the weather itself, it becomes significantly harder to drive when the roads are icy, snow is falling, the wind is blowing, or rain is limiting visibility. At Greenstein & Milbauer, we help with these types of accident claims but also have suggestions for how to keep yourself safe and prevent them in the first place.
#1 – Watch the Weather Report
Check the news in the morning before you head out the door. While simple, it is important to do this time of year. You may find out that a storm is rolling in around four and be able to leave the office early that day. The more you know, the better prepared you will be and the more likely it is that you can arrange to stay off dangerous winter roads.
#2 – Take Your Time
When there is a winter storm or ice on the roads, plan for it to take longer than normal to get to your destination. Do not rush but take your time and drive safely. Many people do not realize that if you drive the normal speed limit during a storm, you could be ticketed for unsafe driving. Slow down for your sake and the safety of others.
Steps to Take If You Are in a Winter Accident
#1 – Get to Safety
It is more important than ever to try and move your car to safety. If the visibility is bad, staying in the middle of the road or only slightly off the shoulder will increase the likelihood of you being hit a second time. It is critical that you try to move your car or call for help in doing so.
#2 – Stay Noticeable
Use your lights, flashers, and horn to alert other cars of your presence while you are waiting for roadside assistance.
#3 – Use Your Phone
If the weather is particularly terrible, you may not want to stand outside and exchange information. To speed things along, grab your smartphone and use it to take pictures of their driver’s license, insurance card, license plate, vehicle, etc. Do not leave the accident without getting their information.
#4 – Call the Police
As New York City accident lawyers, we know that the police will try to get to you as soon as possible. However, if there have been many accidents, it may take some time for them to show up. While it is often best to have an officer help you with this, if it is taking too long or not safe to wait there, you can file a report later on.
#5 – Find a Safe Place to Park
If your accident was caused by treacherous road conditions, there is no way to know if it will be safe to continue driving home if your car is in the condition to do so. In this case, find a safe spot to park your car and go wait out the storm somewhere warm.
Have you been in a winter accident? Tell us about it in the comments section.