We’ve been lucky this year. We’ve had a mild start to winter, with much of the state having minimal snow on the ground for the Thanksgiving holiday. But, as Midwesterners and personal injury attorneys, the Schroeder & Mandel team knows it’s the calm before the storm.
We know what’s coming.
Soon the snow will fall, and drivers will go into winter driving mode. For some, that means driving extra carefully. For others, it means throwing caution to the wind and embracing the chaos.
The problem is that these two types of winter drivers endanger one another. Driving too slowly is just as risky as driving too fast for the conditions, or, worse yet, driving while distracted. When drivers approach a slow vehicle’s tail too fast, they slam on their brakes and create a chain reaction that can easily end in a collision.
Winter Driving Tips for Avoiding Auto Accidents
We’ve worked with countless drivers who were involved in winter car crashes. Trust us, a little bit of preventive caution goes a long way for winter driving safety. Do your part to keep yourself and others safe this slippery season. These tips should help:
- SLOW DOWN
We’re not saying drive at an unsafe slow speed. Rather you should adjust your speed for the weather and road conditions. If the snow is flying, you shouldn’t be.
- PAY ATTENTION
You never know when a driver a few cars up is about to slam on their brakes, and you never know if black ice is coating the road. Minimize distractions and focus on traffic, and the road. Most experts say look 12-15 seconds ahead of you, which means a city block or ¼ mile on the highway. Also, stay off your phone, and don’t be engaging in other distractions inside your car.
- KEEP YOUR HEADLIGHTS ON
There’s a reason a motorcycle headlight stays on 100% of the time. It helps other drivers see you. You want to be as visible as possible during winter, so do yourself a favor and turn on those lights.
- WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT
This really doesn’t need further explanation. Seat belts save lives. Buckle up.
- RESPECT AND FOLLOW THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC
If everyone is driving 30mph and you’re going 40mph, you’re the problem – even if the speed limit is 50mph. There’s probably a reason everyone has slowed down, and it’s not just because they’re scared. Respect others, follow the flow of traffic at a safe distance, and be prepared if you need to make a sudden stop or evasive maneuver. Always have an out.
- TURN OFF YOUR CRUISE CONTROL
Opting out of your cruise control setting is a simple, yet effective way to keep better control over your car when conditions could change from ‘okay’ to ‘slippery ice rink’ in a matter of seconds.
- BE SMART AROUND SNOWPLOWS
Did you know that you should stay ten car lengths behind a snowplow? Or that plows can have “wings” on either side? Be patient and avoid passing active snowplows – it’ll help you avoid a major accident. Check out MNDOT for more information.
- KEEP UP ON VEHICLE MAINTENANCE
Making sure your tires have good tread is a simple but effective way to help you drive safely all winter. Head into your local auto shop to determine if anything needs tending before winter is in full swing. Nobody wants to stall out on the freeway in a snowstorm.
What To Do If You’ve Been In A Winter Car Crash
First thing’s first: stay safe. Stay in your vehicle until professional help arrives. Even if you think you haven’t been injured, don’t risk it. Call the police and wait for help to arrive before assessing any damage to your vehicle. Once they’ve redirected traffic, it’s safe to step outside. Get any medical attention you need right away. Even if you don’t go to the Emergency Room, get checked out by the Urgency Room™, Urgent Care or your family doctor as soon as possible.
Once you’re safe, call the attorneys at Schroeder & Mandel. We’re more than car accident lawyers. Our team has deep experience handling any type of car crash that has caused injury or wrongful death. We know your rights, all the complex insurance laws (in Minnesota and Wisconsin) and we specialize in helping you collect the damages you’re owed. If you are
involved in an accident on the job, we understand that it gets even more complex- but we can advise you on all your rights.
Knowledgeable, Caring Representation. FREE Consultation.
You read that right. We start engagements with a free consultation and operate on a contingency fee. We’re here to help you get the money you deserve, and we don’t get paid until you do.
That’s the type of personal injury attorney you need.