We see it every time there is a snow or ice storm in Charlotte – car accidents all along the highways and busy streets. The slippery conditions and lowered visibility make driving a hazard, but there are techniques that you can put in place to protect yourself.
Tips to Avoid a Car Accident in the Snow
By putting the following tips into practice, you will greatly reduce your chances of being involved in a vehicular accident during wintery conditions.
- Before leaving your driveway, clear all snow from your lights, hood and roof. Snow can suddenly fly off of these surfaces and blind you or vehicles behind you.
- When on the road, go slower than the speed limit. Speed limits are calculated for dry pavement.
- Give a greater distance than you normally would between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This will give you more time to stop in case of a sudden slow-down in traffic.
- Be careful on exit ramps! Exit ramps may not have been as heavily treated before the storm as the main areas of the highway. The curve on exit ramps could cause you to slide into a guard rail or off of the road. Take it slow when you get into this area.
- Never use cruise control in the snow or ice. Tapping your brake to exit cruise control can cause you to lose control on slick roadways.
If There is an Accident, Call the Police
Sometimes, it is impossible to avoid an accident, even if you are doing everything correctly. The other driver may not have been taking the same precautions and may be at fault.
It is best to call the police after every accident, no matter how minor. Doing so protects you and your rights. The police officer will assess the situation and collect vital information that will be used in their official report. This report may be vital in proving negligence of another.
In some cases, the police officer may find that the other driver is driving under the influence. This, of course, is an extremely important factor if you decide to bring forward a personal injury case. It would be impossible to prove that the other driver was under the influence without a police report.
Be Sure to Exchange Information
While awaiting a police officer’s arrival, be sure to write down the following information:
- Full name
- Phone number
- License plate number
- Insurance company name
- Insurance policy number
If nearby witnesses to the accident do not wish to wait for the police, get their name and phone number so they can be contacted at a later date.
Take Pictures of the Accident
Take pictures of the scene of the accident with a camera or your phone. Show damaged areas of the vehicle, the positioning of each automobile and any skid-marks that may be present on the road. These facts will be helpful to have on file and an expert may be able to recreate the scene and determine fault.
Take All Car Accidents Seriously, No Matter How Minor
Symptoms of a car accident may not be felt until days or even weeks after the incident occurs. If this is the case, and you are not at fault, you may need to think about hiring an attorney to win you the compensation you deserve.
Thomas D. Bumgardner has years of experience representing clients who have been injured in car accidents. If you have been involved in an accident, there is no cost to discuss your case. Schedule your free consultation by calling (704) 870-4779.