During the winter months, the entire state of South Dakota experiences road conditions that can easily become disastrous for drivers. Following some basic safety precautions or staying off the roads altogether unless driving is necessary can help decrease the chances of a major accident. When an accident does occur, it is important to follow your insurance company’s procedures and speak with an attorney afterward to determine how much compensation may be available to repair a vehicle or cover medical costs.
Advice from local police regarding how to drive in snow and avoid accidents
Authorities throughout Union County, South Dakota issued driving tips for motorists as the area was in the process of experiencing a combination of wind, freezing rain, and snow which makes driving extremely dangerous. These conditions could lead to cars and trucks sliding all over the surface of the road. When considering the potential for vehicles to slip at high speeds on interstates and other large roads, drivers could sustain severe injuries or even die if their car is involved in a serious accident at a high speed.
A spokesperson from the Union County Sheriff reminded all drivers to drive based on the weather conditions that they see, regardless of the posted speed limit. In some cases, this may involve driving significantly slower. Getting all tires on a vehicle checked for proper inflation is also helpful, as tires that are new or totally inflated tend to get better traction, even in snow and ice.
Stopping can be a precarious activity in the snow and ice, as cars do not stop as normal in many situations. The sheriff’s office reminded drivers that they should slow down very gradually before coming to a stop sign or a red light, so that the car will actually stop when they reach the intersection, and not move or slide for several more feet. This can be extremely dangerous if a car slides into oncoming traffic in opposite directions at a busy intersection.
Following distance is another important issue. Drivers were advised to maintain a greater following distance than normal and avoid using their phones or other distractions that may cause them to come too close to another vehicle. Slick roads and snow laying on the roads greatly diminishes a vehicle’s ability to stop in a short distance
The sheriff’s office remains optimistic that the roads should be free of any major accidents until the severe weather passes, but they are remaining prepared.
What should drivers do if they are involved in a crash during severe weather?
Safety should still be the main priority, and the police should be contacted first, as well as the driver’s insurance company. Emergency workers or a 911 dispatcher will give instructions that should be followed carefully so they can reach anyone who may be injured and secure the area. After everyone involved is safe, it is best to contact your insurance provider as soon as realistically possible. This is because money can be paid out from a claim sooner if the process is started early, as well as the possibility that your provider may require you to report any damage within a short time frame after the collision. They may also ask for pictures of the damage or other information to help prove any losses. Failing to report an accident can result in your insurance company cancelling your policy or taking other measures against you.
How will a driver know if a lawsuit is necessary for financial assistance?
After any accident, it is recommended to speak with an attorney who deals with automobile collisions and associated injuries in your area. Most firms will provide an initial consultation for free or at a low cost. During this meeting they will advise you regarding how to proceed after your incident.
One of the most important factors that will help determine whether your case is worth proceeding to the lawsuit phase is the seriousness of the damage. Most minor accidents can be handled with insurance claims and they may not cost a driver much time or money. However, accidents that result in permanent injuries or death may require a lawsuit to ask for a large sum of money from the person or business responsible. This is especially true if all relevant insurance available after the accident will only pay out a few thousand dollars or less. This amount generally depends on the liability coverage of the drivers involved. A lawyer will give advice that considers your financial situation as an important factor.
Get assistance after an accident from local lawyers
To learn more about how to file a lawsuit against a driver responsible for serious injuries or death in the state of South Dakota, contact Ogborn, Mihm, and Quaintance. They focus on helping people who need help paying for their losses through legal action.