Here’s How You Can Avoid A Car Accident In Utah This Winter
If you have driven on Utah highways during the winter, then you are familiar with the hazards that snow, ice and wet pavement pose to motorists.
Hundreds of drivers are injured in car accidents each winter, but you don’t have to be one of them. You can avoid a car accident this winter by practicing safe driving techniques and preparing your car for winter weather.
Safe Driving In Winter Weather
The cold weather is returning, and quick. In anticipation for winter weather, the Utah Department of Transportation has provided safe driving tips to help you avoid winter car accidents:
- Drive below the speed limit
- Don’t use cruise control. Stay in control at all times
- If you skid, ease off the gas pedal and turn into the skid
- Increase your following distance between you and other cars
- Use caution when changing lanes. Slush can build up
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you need to be
Prepare Your Car For The Weather
Before you pull onto a Utah highway in the winter, you should make sure your car is ready to handle the elements. First, check the tread on your tires to make sure that you have good traction. If you only replace two of your tires, the UDOT suggests mounting the newer tires in the rear. Second, check your wiper blades. Worn blades will not remove snow, ice or moisture. It may also be a good idea to fill your car’s wiper fluid reservoir, using the anti-freeze fluid before the first snowstorm. Lastly, make sure that you have enough coolant in your vehicle to prevent overheating while driving in tough conditions.
The UDOT also advises drivers to keep a full tank of gas during the winter months. You may find yourself in a traffic jam or stuck in the snow. In either case, having enough gas ensures that you can keep the heat on to stay warm and still make it to your destination.
Packing A Winter Weather Emergency Kit
The UDOT recommends all drivers keep an emergency kit in their cars during the winter. Emergency kits include a handful of helpful items to aid drivers in the event of in a car accident or traffic jam. To ensure you are prepared for even the worst-case scenario, the UDOT recommends carrying the following items in your emergency kit.
- Jumper cables
- Tire chains and tow rope
- A small shovel
- Extra winter clothes
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- Battery or crank radio for broadcasts
- Emergency blanket or sleeping bag
- Fresh water
- Hand warmers
Avoiding secondary accidents
As you navigate the highways this winter, you are bound to pass by an auto accident or two. Be careful. Every year, people are injured in secondary accidents. Should you find yourself approaching an auto accident, slow down and avoid slamming on your brakes. It is important to keep your eyes on the road, not on the accident. If it is safe to shift lanes, do so cautiously. If you cannot shift lanes, move as far to the right in your lane and slow down.
What To Do If You Are In An Accident
If you are in a car accident on an icy road, the first thing you should do is call 911. Take stock of your position in the road. You may still be in danger of a secondary accident. Drive your car to the shoulder of the road to avoid blocking oncoming traffic, but only if it is safe to do so.
As you wait for police to arrive at the scene of the accident, take photos of the damage. Also take photos of the road conditions. Do not talk about the accident with other drivers involved in the accident. If other drivers or passengers talk about the accident, be sure to write down what they say. Taking detailed notes and clear photos of the accident may be helpful when filing an insurance claim.
If you believe that you have been seriously injured, stay in place until emergency responders arrive. Sometimes, injuries do not manifest until days or weeks later. It is imperative that you seek medical attention as soon as you experience symptoms of an injury.
If you have been injured in a car accident on an icy road, contact one of our attorneys today. We can provide legal advice and help you determine the best course of action to recover compensation for any injures you suffer.