The risk of car accidents increases in poor weather due to low visibility and slippery conditions, but accident risks are at their highest during an icy rainstorm or blizzard. The safest thing to do during a storm is to avoid driving. But if that isn’t possible, you’ll need to take a few precautions.
What to do When You’re in an Accident
It’s still possible to wind up in a car accident, even if you’re driving safely. Negligent drivers are a dime a dozen on a typical day, so it’s important to know what to do when your car gets hit.
First, you should stop your car, stay calm, and call 911 for help. Address any injuries, and don’t move passengers unless they’re in immediate danger. If possible, gather the other driver’s info, get a copy of the police report, take pictures of the accident, and tow or move your vehicle.
If you’re injured, call a lawyer. Injury attorneys typically work on a contingency fee, so there are no fees unless you win your case. Plus, you’ll often receive a free consultation and advice on how to proceed. That way, you’ll have all the evidence you need to potentially win your case.
How to Stay Safe in Poor Weather Conditions
Taking preventative measures is the best way to avoid serious accidents and potential price gouging from businesses.
Here are 4 big ways to stay safe while driving in poor weather.
1. Leave Earlier and Slow Down
Your local weather network is great at estimating next-day weather conditions. But even when they’re wrong, same-day predictions are pretty accurate. Always check upcoming weather conditions to assess if you should leave your house 10 to 20 minutes early to avoid being late.
Once you’re on the road, try to slow down. With the added challenge of rain and fog, your reaction time will be hindered if you drive the speed limit. Driving 5 or 10 under will ensure you can stop before hitting a vehicle or at least minimize the damage of a rear-ender accident.
2. Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents. While you should always keep your eyes on the road, this habit becomes even more critical during icy road conditions. You should also leave more space between other cars so you don’t have to slam on the brakes.
When you slam on the brakes, it could cause the car to skid. Increasing your distance between vehicles allows you to pump the brakes slowly, improving your chances of reaching a full stop.
3. Check Your Wipers and Fluid
Whether you’re driving in rain, sleet, or shine, keeping your car maintained is essential. But in poor weather conditions, you should always check your windshield wipers and fluid to make sure they’re operational. In the winter, be sure to switch to seasonal windshield wipers and fluid.
To test your wipers, visually inspect them for ice or snow. Knock any debris off the wipers and check if they lay flat. When in the vehicle, turn your wipers on and splash some fluid. If the fluid doesn’t freeze on contact and the wipers don’t leave any streaks, it’s safe to drive away.
4. Make Yourself More Visible
You’re more likely to get in an accident if you drive a darker vehicle at night, and poor weather conditions make black cars even harder to see. Even if it’s bright enough to avoid using your headlights, turn them on anyway (low beam setting) to help drivers and pedestrians see you.
Remember to only use your low beams in icy conditions. High beams reflect off the ice particles in the snow, making it harder to see. They can also blind other drivers for the same reason.