Winter weather is here. Across our region of West Virginia and Kentucky, temperatures are chilly, and rain and snow are likely. As locals, we're prepared for driving in these conditions, but it doesn't hurt to brush up on some basic crash prevention tips. We've outlined them below.
Get Your Vehicle Winter-Ready
Don't be taken by surprise when the weather gets bad. A few precautionary measures will help you stay safer on the road:
- Check tire tread
- Check tire pressure
- Ensure gas tank is full, or mostly full, in advance of a storm
- Top off wiper fluid
- Check windshield wipers for wear or cracks
If you are departing while it's snowing, make sure your windows, lights and mirrors are completely cleared of snow and ice before driving. It's important to get the windows fully defrosted so that you can see.
Preventing a Car Wreck While Driving
Now that your car is prepared, brush up on these tips for safer driving:
- Don't text and drive. Texting is a severely distracting behavior. It takes your hands, eyes and mind away from the demands of driving. Driving in bad weather puts even more demands on you, so texting becomes that much more hazardous. Turn your phone to silent and place it out of sight until you arrive at your destination.
- Increase following distance in falling snow or rain, or on icy roads. It takes longer to stop on snow, rain and ice. You can drive defensively by creating an ample cushion between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. If they come to an unexpected stop or you need to brake for some reason, there will be more room to avoid a wreck.
- Decrease speed. Slowing down can help you maintain control of your vehicle when traction is reduced.
- Stay alert. Of course driving always demands focus and attention, but wintry weather leaves even less room for error. Many things can distract your attention, in addition to texting. Talking on a phone, adjusting audio, arguing with a passenger – all of these things must be avoided so you can focus on handling your vehicle.
- Prioritize sleep. One of the best ways to improve your alertness while driving is to make sure you aren't fatigued. As people with busy schedules and full lives, we all let sleep suffer from time to time. But it's important to prioritize 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Drowsy driving has some of the same effects as drunk driving, including impaired judgment, blurred vision, inattention and slowed reaction.
You can't do anything to stop the carelessness of other drivers on the road, but you can lower your accident risk by practicing good driving habits.
What To Do after a Crash
Sometimes a crash occurs despite your efforts to prevent it. In such scenarios, here are a few tips:
- Get to safety. Call 9-1-1 if necessary and move the wreck out of the path of traffic if and when it is safe to do so.
- Get medical attention. Even if you don't need emergency care, some injuries don't show immediate symptoms. Schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
- Call our attorney. Attorney Mark Troy can advise you about your options. If the crash was caused by another motorist's carelessness, you may have a case to pursue compensation for your damages.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We know winter weather is on its way. Prepare your vehicle and your mind for the added roadway hazards to keep you and your passengers safe.
Complimentary Case Evaluation
If you or a loved one was injured in a car wreck in West Virginia or Kentucky and you suspect someone else's negligence is to blame, please call experienced accident attorney Mark Troy at 304-345-1122. Your case evaluation is free and we do not charge any fees unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.