LAS VEGAS, Nevada. If you plan to do some winter traveling and driving, or plan to head to the mountains to ski, you might find yourself encountering snowy and winter conditions. How do you keep yourself safe when driving on snow and ice? And what can you do if you find yourself in an accident in these conditions?
In Las Vegas, we don’t really get snow days, so drivers heading north or to the mountains where they may encounter snow, might not be accustomed to how their vehicles handle in snowy conditions. Every car handles differently in snow and ice. Taking the time to get to know your vehicle is important. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers are wise to practice driving on snowy side roads rather than on main highways were speeds are higher and the consequence of an accident is greater. If you plan to travel into winter conditions, you’ll also want to make sure your car is well-stocked with a safety kit, like shovels, an ice scraper, kitty litter (to get your car out of a snow ditch), flashlight, warm blankets, water, food, and extra medications, should you get stranded. Make sure your battery is well-charged, that all your lights are in working order, and that your windshield wiper fluid is full (and is formulated to prevent ice buildup).
Even experienced drivers can find themselves in situations they may not be prepared for. If you plan to drive on snow this winter, the first thing you need to control is your speed. It takes far longer to stop on snow and ice than it does to stop on roads with good traction. If you are following another car too closely, driving too fast, or distracted, accidents can happen.
According to the New York Times, the safest thing to do is to adjust your driving to the conditions. For example, one expert explained that drivers should slow down before they perform turns, rather than slowing down through the turn. The New York Times also notes that when it comes to maneuvering on snowing roads, four-wheel drive won’t help your car handle any better than a two-wheel drive. A four wheel drive can only help you if one tire gets stuck in the snow. Tires can also make a difference. If you plan to drive in serious snow conditions, you may want to have winter tires put on your vehicle, or rent a car with winter tires. Chains may be necessary in some states and areas.
What happens if you do lose control of your vehicle in winter conditions? Don’t slam on the brakes. Release your foot from the gas, and steer the car where you’ll want to go. If you do find yourself stranded in your car in cold conditions, call for help and stay put until help arrives.
If you find yourself in an accident in winter conditions, call the police, make a police report, and seek medical care. Some injuries may not always be immediately apparent after a crash, and adrenaline in your body after an accident can sometimes mask pain or injuries. If you’ve been hurt or if your car has suffered extensive damage, you may be wondering how you’ll pay medical bills and for repairs. You may also want to reach out to the personal injury lawyers at Southwest Injury Law in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our injury lawyers can review your accident to determine whether negligence might have played a role. Winter weather alone is rarely the sole cause of a crash. Human error plays a major role in most all accidents. The Las Vegas, Nevada car accident lawyers at Southwest Injury Law may be able to assist you in speaking to insurance adjusters and fighting negligent parties for your injuries and losses.