Winter in Missouri brings not just a white blanket of snow but also a significant rise in car accidents. The picturesque scenery often hides the lurking dangers of icy roads and hazardous driving conditions. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the critical importance of cautious driving during Missouri's winter months and the indispensable role of a personal injury lawyer in safeguarding your rights after a winter car accident.
Understanding Winter Driving Hazards in Missouri
The Deceptive Dangers of Snow and Ice
- Freezing Rain and Sleet: Changing winter weather can transform roads into skating rinks.
- Snow-Covered Roads: Snow-covered roads can hide and cover the black ice beneath the snow.
- Bridges and Overpasses: Often bridges can be colder than roadway and freeze and refreeze, so just because the road seems wet and safe, be cautious of driving over bridges and overpasses because they can be more treacherous.
Driver's Duty in Winter Conditions & Safety Tips
- Driver’s Duty to Adjust Driving According to the Weather: A driver has a duty to adjust driving to the conditions of the road.
- Slow and Steady Wins the Race: When it comes to driving on icy roads, speed is your enemy. Reduce your speed and maintain a slow, steady pace to allow for better control of your vehicle. Sudden movements can lead to skidding, making it harder to regain control on icy surfaces.
- Increase Following Distance: Give yourself extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This extended following distance provides a buffer zone, allowing you more time to react to unexpected road conditions or the actions of other drivers.
- Tire Maintenance is Key: Ensure your tires are in excellent condition for winter driving. Consider switching to winter tires, which are designed to provide better traction on icy and snow-covered roads. Check tire pressure regularly, as it tends to decrease in colder temperatures.
- Gentle Acceleration and Deceleration: Avoid sudden acceleration or braking, as these actions can lead to skidding. Gradual and gentle movements are essential for maintaining control on icy surfaces. If your vehicle has antilock brakes, be sure to apply steady pressure rather than pumping the brakes.
- Visibility is Crucial: Keep all windows and mirrors clear of ice and snow before starting your journey. Use windshield washer fluid that is designed for freezing temperatures and replace worn-out wiper blades. Turn on your headlights to increase visibility for yourself and other drivers.
- Stay Informed About Weather Conditions: Check weather forecasts and road condition updates before heading out. If conditions are severe, consider delaying your trip or using public transportation. Being aware of the weather can help you plan your route more effectively and make informed decisions.
- Be Cautious on Bridges and Overpasses: Elevated structures like bridges and overpasses tend to freeze before other road surfaces. Approach these areas with extra caution, and if possible, reduce your speed before reaching them.
- Carry Emergency Supplies: In case of unexpected challenges, equip your vehicle with emergency supplies such as a blanket, flashlight, non-perishable snacks, and a first aid kit. Having these items on hand can provide comfort and assistance in case of an emergency.
- Distance Matters: For example, there is an increased need for space between vehicles when the roads are slick.
- Braking Safely: Remember to not brake hard or suddenly on icy roads or else you may lose control of your vehicle.
The Aftermath of a Winter Car Accident: Your Legal Rights
The Immediate Steps Post-Accident
- Documenting the Scene: When you are out of harm’s way, document any and all damage to your vehicle and the accident scene.
- Witness Statements: Make a note of the names and contact information for all witnesses to the accident and also let the investigating officer know of any witnesses.
- Medical Attention: When you do what is best for your health, you do what is best for your case. Seek treatment when you are hurt or feel different compared to before the accident.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Get the Help You Need From Personal Injury Lawyers at Aaron Sachs & Associates
- Easy Access to Legal Help: Reaching out to an attorney to find out your rights should be easy.
- No-Risk Consultation: There is no charge or obligation for a consultation to find out your rights and options.
- Proven Track Record: Visit the website autoinjury.com to see an example of the firm’s track record of helping clients. Every case is different and fact dependent.
Winter driving in Missouri demands not just cautious driving but also a proactive approach to your legal rights post-accident. The law firm of Aaron Sachs & Associates is dedicated to guiding you through these icy paths with legal help and compassionate representation.