Even Michigan’s Best Drivers Can Be at Fault for Winter Driving Accidents
Most Michigan drivers believe they can handle driving in heavy snow, ice, and slush with no problems yet accidents still happen. In fact, fatalities from winter crashes remain on the rise, giving the state the dubious distinction of possessing one of the highest averages of cold weather-related accidents. To avoid being involved in one of these wrecks this season, you should drive slower, remain alert, be extra cautious, and take note from our team of auto accident attorneys on how to avoid a winter crash by following these simple winter driving lessons.
Winter Driving Lessons For Everyone
- Keep your vehicle in order and get that tune-up. This includes replacing wiper blades and lights, filling up on antifreeze and window-washer fluid, checking for proper tire inflation, ensuring your battery has sufficient charge, and packing a safety kit prepped for winter travel in your vehicle.
- Always wear a safety belt when in a vehicle, and be sure children are properly buckled in the appropriate seats as well.
- Follow the speed limit and slow down when visibility is low and road conditions are snowy or icy.
- Give snowplow drivers, buses, and big trucks the extra room they need.
- Be extra cautious on bridges because they can be full of black ice patches where the road may appear dry and clear.
- Accelerate and brake slowly and avoid abrupt steering maneuvers, especially when merging or changing lanes.
- Avoid pumping anti-lock brakes and using cruise control.
- Let other people know your travel plans so if you don’t arrive they’ll know where to start looking.
- Check weather reports and driving conditions prior to hitting the road.
- Once the digits reach the teens, most salt mixes become ineffective. If you start to slide, follow your instincts to slow down.
- Pay special attention to that dirty, tricky slush that seems to get thrown by passing vehicles and built up in unexpected areas. Over time, that slush will stiffen and icy conditions begin to develop.
- Remember, never text while driving and do all you can to avoid being a distracted driver.
- No matter the season, drinking and driving is dangerous and illegal and kills or leaves life-long, devastating injuries.
If You Get Stuck
If your vehicle spins out on the road or you are stuck in a ditch, remember that running your wheels will only dig the tires in more deeply. Instead, shovel the area around the wheels and undercarriage. As you attempt to ease your vehicle out of a snowy patch, turn the steering wheel from side to side to clear snow away from the front tires. If that doesn’t work, try rocking the vehicle by shifting into forward and giving it some gas and then shifting it into reverse and accelerating until the vehicle is free. Only try these maneuvers if you are in a safe, visible location where other drivers can see you. If you are not in a safe location, dial emergency services and wait for help. While you are waiting, make sure your vehicle has fresh air by checking the exhaust system to see if it’s plugged by snow or slush. Carbon monoxide produced by your vehicle is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill.
We Can Help With Your Winter Auto Accident Claim
If you have been involved in a vehicle accident this winter, we want to help you. Please call Lee Free and speak to our auto accident attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form. And remember, you pay nothing until we settle your case.