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What Should I Do After Being Involved in a Winter Car Accident?

Posted on in Car Accident

Palatine car accident injury attorney

Being a passenger in an automobile accident of any kind is frightening, especially in the moments immediately following the crash. No matter how minor or major the collision, shock and confusion kick in, leaving you wondering if you suffered injuries, who else may be hurt, and what exactly happened that caused the crash in the first place. Motor vehicle collisions can be even scarier during the winter season, as weather conditions can leave you feeling even more vulnerable and unsure of what to do next while you wait on the side of the road for help to arrive.

Tips for Handling a Car Crash in Winter Weather

Whether you are involved in a major pile-up on an icy, treacherous interstate or are the victim of a small fender-bender due to low visibility on a snowy night, here are some tips for what to do immediately following a car accident in inclement weather conditions:

  • Make yourself visible - The National Safety Council (NSC) does not recommend pulling over and stopping on the shoulder of the road unless it is an absolute emergency, particularly during a winter whiteout, as it is difficult for other drivers to see you when visibility is low. However, when you have been in an accident and are experiencing an emergency, you may have no other choice but to pull off to the side and wait on the shoulder. The important thing is to make yourself visible as best as you can. Turn on your hazard lights, use flares, and use whatever is at your disposal in your car -- such as reflective clothing or flashlights -- to alert other motorists of your presence on the side of the road.

  • Keep supplies in your car - If you have items such as a blanket, water, first-aid kit, or flashlights stored in the backseat or nearby and are not hindered by any noticeable injury, collect these supplies and keep them close. This is important for your safety and comfort, as you never know how long you may end up waiting for help to arrive. Experts suggest that drivers prepare their cars ahead of time, before the winter season approaches, for this very reason. In the event you find yourself in a roadway emergency in winter weather, having these basic supplies on hand will help immensely.

  • Stay with your vehicle - Once you call the authorities to report the accident, it is important you stay in or by your vehicle. The NSC recommends staying with your car any time you are stranded. It is suggested you light flares at both the front and back of the vehicle and check your exhaust pipe to ensure it is not blocked by snow, mud, or any other debris. Even if it does not take the authorities long to reach you, it is better to take safety precautions in case you are stuck waiting longer than anticipated.

Contact a Schaumburg Personal Injury Attorney

The circumstances surrounding a winter-related auto accident may result in a tense interaction with the other driver involved. Driving conditions during winter weather can be stressful on their own; it is not uncommon for tempers to flare and for emotions to run high after the sudden impact of a crash. It is important to understand your rights as you navigate those difficult moments immediately following the accident. Speak with a knowledgeable Arlington Heights car accident lawyer to protect your best interests, especially if you are injured. Call Newland & Newland LLP today at 847-797-8000 and ask for your free phone consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/winter-driving-safety

https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/winter/driving

 

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