Winter weather accounts for over 1,300 fatalities and over 100,000 injuries in the U.S. annually. Conditions can be so severe that they often catch drivers off-guard. While the snowy or icy roads in Colorado are contributing factors in auto accidents, drivers can also take precautions to avoid getting involved in an accident or hit by another car.
If you are in an auto accident in Longmont, Colorado, and someone else is at fault, you may receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, or other damages. To find out more about your legal options, contact the Law Offices of Edward Smith for a free consultation to speak with an experienced auto accident attorney. Below are some safety tips he suggests for driving in the snow in Colorado.
Keep Your Distance
Accidents often occur because someone tailgates a driver in front of them. During the winter, tailgating takes on a new meaning. Ice and snow can increase braking distance by up to ten times that of distance in normal road conditions.
For instance, the average braking distance at 50 mph is 175 feet. Therefore, braking distance on ice could potentially reach 1,750 feet at the same speed. If the car in front of you suddenly brakes, you don’t stand a chance of suddenly stopping. Your best bet is to keep a safe distance of several feet behind the car in front of you so that you are not involved in an accident.
Snowy roads are unpredictable – so are drivers. Therefore, you should keep your eyes on the road 100 percent of the time. Distracted driving is among the leading causes of auto accidents in the U.S., contributing to over 3,000 deaths nationwide annually.
Smartphones, navigational devices, passengers, radios, and even the snowy scenery can all serve as distractions. When driving, stay focused on the road, other drivers, and the weather conditions. Keep both hands on the wheel and anticipate any sudden hazards that could arise. Doing so can save your life and the lives of those around you.
Keep Your Car in Excellent Condition
Mechanical failure can lead to an accident much easier in the winter than at any other time of year. For this reason, you should perform routine maintenance on your vehicle and, if necessary, winterize it. Some common winterization maintenance includes:
- Installing snow tires on your vehicle
- Checking or fixing all headlights, emergency lights, and brake lights
- Using antifreeze and inspecting your heater/defroster
- Repairing or replacing your brakes
- Fixing any cracks or chips in your windshield
When your vehicle is in good shape, you are more likely to stay in control on the road. Remember: if your car fails and it leads to an accident, you may still be held liable for all damages. So, make sure you perform maintenance before the first snow or frost.
What to Do If You Get in an Accident
If you are involved in a car accident in the snow, then you should first seek medical attention from a licensed medical specialist. Do not delay going to the ER or visiting your doctor. If possible, try to document the accident including the medical care you received. The more you can document, the more evidence you will have when you file a claim for your damages.
Finally, contact a car accident lawyer in Longmont, Colorado. The Law Offices of Edward Smith is here to represent you when you file a claim. A skilled attorney can establish liability, determine the value of your damages, and represent you to take on the at-fault party and their insurance company. To find out more about your legal options, call The Law Offices of Edward Smith at (303) 578-9900 or fill out our short form to schedule a free consultation.