No one wants to be in a car accident, let alone a car accident caused by winter weather. It’s hard enough to be a defensive driver; driving carefully in winter weather adds another layer of difficulty. 

But, depending on where you live, you might not have a choice. That’s why knowing how to drive safely in the snow is so important, as well as knowing what to do after you’ve been in an accident caused by winter weather. 

Today’s blog discusses what you should do after you’ve been in a car accident caused by snow. We will also discuss tips for driving safely to prevent an accident from occurring. Keep reading to learn more. 

Safety Tips for Driving on Ice 

Have you ever heard of “Black Ice”? This treacherous driving condition is the result of freezing rain. When the temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and there’s freezing rain, there’s a high likelihood of black ice on the ground. Sleet, snow, or freezing rain refreezing on the ground can also cause black ice. 

Despite its name, black ice is not black in appearance. It’s completely invisible, which is why it’s so dangerous. You’ll probably realize that you’re driving on black ice when your car starts to slip and slide on the road. The best way to detect and avoid black ice is to look for roads that look wet, shiny, or like new asphalt.

If you find yourself slipping on ice, there are a couple of things that you can do to prevent an accident. First, Don’t Panic or slam on your brakes. Instead, take your foot off the gas and slowly turn the steering wheel in the direction you want your car to go in. Doing so will allow you to regain control of your vehicle.

Safety Tips for Driving in the Snow 

Thankfully, driving in the snow is somewhat safer than driving on ice. Of course, there’s still a chance of slipping, but it’s not as bad. 

We recommend decreasing your speed, even if it’s below the speed limit. While this might seem like a bad idea if other drivers are on the road with you, you might also notice them driving more slowly. No one wants to get into an accident, and this is the best way to prevent it.  

Next, we recommend increasing the distance between your car and other cars. While you typically only need to see the tires on the vehicle in front of you, it takes longer to slow down in snow, so you’ll want to put two to three cars’ distance between you and other drivers.

Finally, we don’t recommend stopping on hills if there is snow. You might slip backward, which is highly dangerous. If your commute takes you over one of Utah’s many hilly roads, keep your foot on the accelerator and avoid breaking if possible.

Safety Tip #3: Driving in a Whiteout

Whiteout conditions are especially scary because of the lack of visibility. In the worst whiteout storms, you can barely see three feet in front of you, let alone the other cars on the road. It’s not advisable to drive in whiteout conditions, but if you have no choice, go as slowly as possible. 

If a snowstorm turns into a whiteout storm while you are driving and you are uncomfortable proceeding, find the nearest exit or a side street, and pull over until you feel safe driving again. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

What to Do After An Accident

Now that we’ve discussed safe driving in winter weather conditions, let’s talk about what to do if you are in a car accident.

The initial moments after a car accident are scary and traumatic and often make it difficult to know what to do. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to ensure that the process after the accident goes as smoothly as possible.

Get to Safety 

First, get to safety. If the accident occurred in the middle of the road, you’d want to drive your vehicle to the safest place. If your vehicle is undrivable, stay in your vehicle and wait for help. It’s not safe to get out of your car in the middle of the road, even if that seems like the right thing to do. 

Call 9-1-1

Once you’re in a safe place, call 911 to report the accident. Listen carefully, and answer all questions in the order the 911 operator asks them. It’s easy to be panicked, but the operators will ask questions in the order they need them to get help to you as quickly as possible. 

Take Photos for Proof of Damage

While waiting for the police to arrive and even after they get there, you’ll want to take lots of photos to prove the damage. Take photos from every angle, and exchange your driver’s license and car insurance information with the other drivers involved. Once you’re home from the accident, you’ll use that information to file a claim with your car insurance company. 

Seek Medical Care

Before heading home after an accident, you’ll want to seek out medical care immediately. Even if you aren’t in pain, you may be injured from the accident. 

If you wait until you feel pain a few days after the accident, the other person’s car insurance will try to tell you that your injuries are unrelated to the crash. Immediately seeking medical care, even if they don’t detect injuries, wIll create a trail of evidence, making it undeniable that your injuries were indeed from the accident.

Call the Lawyers at Flickinger Boulton Gooch & Robson

Finally, after everything is done and you’ve filed a claim with your car insurance company, you’ll want to call the lawyers at Flickinger Boulton Gooch & Robson. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, and we will work hard to get you everything you deserve. 

We have over 150 years of combined experience in personal injury law and offer free case evaluations where we determine how we can best help you. Visit us at one of our locations or call us at 801-500-4000 to get started today.