When winter hits, precipitation means more car accidents. It does not have to be a major accumulation, just enough snow, sleet, or ice to make things slick and slippery. According to the Federal Highway Administration, weather is a factor in 24 percent of all vehicle crashes. The area has already been hit with multiple weather events this year and predictably, the number of wrecks and the number of injuries were higher during the weeks with snowfall.
Delaware State Police Spokesman Master Cpl. Mike Austin says that when bad weather is in the forecast, state police advise people to stay home and postpone their travel plans. Even if you are accustomed to driving in snow, many people are not – putting you at risk being involved in an accident. Troopers receive the most calls for help with disabled or abandoned vehicles and vehicle crashes. All of these pose a major problem for DelDot efforts to remove snow and keep the roads clean and safe for those who must travel.
Recent winter weather had the AAA out rescuing more people than usual. The main problems were dead batteries and tire servicing. The agency reminds motorists that existing car problems can become worse in cold weather. A weak battery is likely to die in the cold, tires will have less air pressure and reduced traction on snowy or icy roads, and old wipers will not be able to clear the windshield at a time when visibility will be lower than normal anyway.
Maintenance that should be done well before a winter weather emergency includes checking fluid levels and adding anti-freeze, oil changes, and assembling an emergency kit. Emergency supplies like jumper cables, blankets, extra food and water, a flashlight, batteries and charging cables, and a first aid kit, should always be on hand.
In winter weather conditions it is imperative to practice defensive driving. Leave plenty of time to reach your destination and plenty of room between your car and the car in front of you. Stopping distances increase when roads are slippery. Use caution when approaching an intersection and do not turn or brake suddenly as this could cause the car to skid or fishtail.
If you do get stuck in snow and cannot move your car away from the traffic flow, wait for help to arrive and do not leave your vehicle and attempt to dig yourself out. You could be seriously injured on the side of the road by a car that loses control. As you wait, make sure that your tailpipe is not blocked by snow or slush or you could be poisoned by exhaust fumes.
Winter weather increases the risk of being injured in a car accident. Common injuries include head and neck injuries such as whiplash, broken bones, and herniated disks. Stay safe this winter by following Delaware State Police advisories for road conditions and by preparing your vehicle for winter conditions.
If you are suffering from injuries sustained in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to compensation. Consult with a dedicated Georgetown car accident lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. who can help you determine your legal options and recover compensation. Contact us online or call 302-656-5445 today to schedule a free consultation. From our offices in Wilmington and Georgetown, we serve clients in Dover and throughout the state of Delaware.