Car and truck accidents increase in the winter. Slippery roads, bad weather, and darker days make for dangerous driving conditions. Winter driving is even more challenging for new drivers who don’t have as much experience behind the wheel. Here are our top tips for staying safe and avoiding personal injury from our Barrie car and truck accident lawyers.
WINTER DRIVING TIPS FOR YOUNG DRIVERS
If you are seriously hurt in a car accident, it can change your life forever. Concussions and brain injuries, broken bones, and whiplash may last for years or never fully heal. The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent winter motor vehicle accidents and stay safe from injury. Tip #1: Get your vehicle ready for winter. Before the snow falls and the temperature drops, have your vehicle serviced. Ensure fluids are topped up (windshield washer fluid, coolant, oil, etc.), have your brakes checked, and have winter tires put on. Winter tires provide the best traction on cold and icy roads. Better traction means shorter stopping distances if you need to brake suddenly. Winter tires are worth every penny as they can prevent rear-enders, skidding into the ditch, and sliding into other vehicles. Tip #2: Adjust your driving based on the conditions. How you drive depends on the conditions you are driving in. For example, drivers should reduce their vehicle’s speed and increase their following distance when it is snowing, sleeting, or icy. Be particularly alert for the first snowfall of the year; it can cause trouble even for experienced drivers who often seem to forget each year that driving habits must be adjusted to safely navigate wintery weather. Tip #3: Check weather and road conditions before you head out. Safe winter driving starts before you get behind the wheel. Check the weather and road conditions on your intended route before you leave for your destination. This will give you a chance to prepare for bad weather, reduced visibility, and poor road conditions. It will also help you budget your time. If conditions are bad, you should give yourself extra time to get where you need to go. Being in a rush makes it more likely that you will make a mistake behind the wheel, which in turn increases the risk of a collision. If conditions are especially bad or a storm is forecasted, consider staying put or taking public transit instead of driving. Tip #4: Clean your vehicle off. If it has already snowed, do not drive until you have removed all snow and ice from your vehicle, including the whole roof, full windshield, both side mirrors, and all windows. If you don’t properly clean your vehicle off before driving, you will not have full visibility, which means you may not see an approaching vehicle or pedestrian. Failing to clean snow off your vehicle also creates a hazard for other drivers; the snow will blow off your vehicle when you drive, causing it to fly toward other vehicles and blocking other drivers’ view of the road. Tip #5: Travel with a charged phone…but leave it alone while driving. A fully charged smartphone is a must for winter travel. If you should get into a car accident, you can call for help (police, paramedics if you are hurt, and your parents/loved ones) and know your location. Remember though that it is against the law to talk or text while driving. Using a phone while driving is extremely dangerous because it takes your attention away from driving and drastically reduces your ability to notice and response to conditions around you. Tip #6: Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. If you run into trouble while driving in the winter (e.g., lose control of your vehicle and get stuck in a ditch or snowdrift) or get into an accident on a wintery day, you may be waiting by the side of the road for some time before help arrives, whether it is a tow truck or emergency personnel. You should have a first aid kit in your vehicle in case you or anyone else is injured. But you should also pack a winter survival kit that includes a blanket, non-perishable food (e.g., granola bars) and a flashlight. Your kit should also contain a shovel and sand or kitty litter that may help get your vehicle unstuck from a snowbank or provide traction on ice.
REACH OUT FOR LEGAL ADVICE FROM A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IN BARRIE
Car and truck accidents can cause serious personal injury. If you or your child has been injured in a car or truck accident, Barrie lawyers at Littlejohn Barristers are here to help get the compensation you or your loved one deserves. We have knowledgeable personal injury lawyers in Barrie, and we serve Collingwood, Midland and Innisfil as well. Contact Littlejohn Barristers today at 705-725-7355 to schedule your free initial consultation with one of our dedicated team of legal professionals.