If you happen to be a fan of the popular television show, Game of Thrones, then you might be familiar with the phrase: Winter is coming. Or, maybe you just live in Alaska. No body knows better than Alaskans what trials the winter months bring, but many of us have learned to overcome them and live an active and satisfying life in the midst of ice, snow, and sub freezing temperatures.
Unfortunately, even seasoned Alaskans can’t avoid every danger the winter poses. Navigating the roads through the frosty months is risky business, and accidents happen on roads that are layered with black ice, salt, water, and snow. But, many of us who live in Anchorage or elsewhere in Alaska take to the roads daily to drive to work, the kids to school, or out to dinner.
A car accident can change your life in an instant, especially if you are injured. Being injured in a car accident can result in loss of mobility or chronic pain, depending on your injury, which can lead to a less active life or loss of your job. An injury can result in expensive medical bills and treatments that your health insurance might not cover. An injury like this can happen on the winter roads as the result of negligence on the part of another driver.
There are plenty of ways you can be prepared before an accident or injury occurs, and being prepared can help prevent the serious consequences that come along with a winter accident. But, if you are injured in an accident caused by another driver this winter, you should know that you don’t have to fight through the physically, financially, and emotionally stressful recovery process alone.
The only thing you should be worried about after a car accident injury is getting better. But, after an accident, you’ll likely be wondering how you and your family will pay for everything and maintain financial security. Dealing with the at-fault party’s insurance company in order to get the compensation you deserve shouldn’t be on your list of to-dos and yet, for many families, it is. The personal injury attorneys at Kelley & Canterbury, LLC understand this and may be able to help you after an accident.
Our team is dedicated to representing people who have been injured in a car accident, and we have helped many Alaskans obtain compensation for their injuries. This winter, if you’re suffering an injury, don’t hesitate to contact us about your case and find out how we can help you. We can answer your questions and take on the task of dealing with the insurance company and other technicalities so you can focus on healing with peace of mind.
Hopefully, this winter is a safe one for you and your family when you’re behind the wheel, and accidents and injuries are avoided. While there is no way to predict or prevent the negligence of other drivers on the road, there are some preemptive steps you can take to prevent accidents and prepare for the challenges of winter driving. The Official Alaska State Website provides a comprehensive list of great tips for preparing your vehicle for the winter and, whether you’ve lived in Alaska for 30 years or it’s your first winter, it’s always a good idea to brush up on safety tips to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
There are several parts of your vehicle to make sure are in good shape for cold weather:
The battery: Cold weather makes vehicles harder to start and requires more energy to get the car warmed up and ready to go. Before winter strikes, get your battery checked out to ensure that the battery terminals are clean and that the charge is full. Make sure to check the battery’s fluid level and voltage regulator. If you’re battery is getting on in years, say your goodbyes and get a new one.
The ignition system: Get the condition of the ignition wires checked and make sure there aren’t any cracks in the distributor wire. Faulty wires or a cracked cap can result in an engine shutdown when it snows. Having a full engine tune-up before winter settles in is beneficial as well and will reveal ignition problems if they exist.
The exhaust system: An exhaust system without any leaks is vital. Water based liquids can leak and freeze, which can cause damage to your vehicle that may cost hundreds in repairs or even be the cause of an accident. A small leak of carbon dioxide in your engine system can end in disaster.
Tires and tire chains: If you use snow tires, put them on your vehicle with the first warning of snow or ice. The extra tread on snow tires can save your life on slippery streets. If you prefer to keep your regular tires intact and instead use tire chains for extra traction, make sure the chains are in good condition before placing them on your tires. Replace any broken links, worn links, or rusted chains.
Before you start driving, remember that it takes a little extra time to prepare your car in the morning. Make sure all the windows, hood, trunk, and roof of the car are clear of snow and ice. Let the engine warm up and any thin ice on the windshield melt away.
When the driving starts, be aware of some of the limitations that winter weather may pose. Many of these involve reduced visibility and an increased chance of losing control of your vehicle.
Beware of glare: When the sun shines on ice and snow there is a glare which can be completely blinding. Always have a pair of sunglasses in the car, ready to throw on when the glare hits.
Don’t tailgate: Driving too close behind someone on a road that might have black ice hidden anywhere is the recipe for an accident. If someone is following to close behind your vehicle on the road, pull over if possible and allow them to pass.
Brake carefully: Avoid stepping on the brakes suddenly; always give yourself ample time and space to slow down before a stop. When you apply the brakes try to let up before the brakes lock, this gives you more control.
If you lose control of your vehicle, don’t panic. Take your foot off the gas and avoid slamming on the brake. Don’t make any sudden movements or jerk the steering wheel. Gently tap the brake and turn the steering wheel in the same direction as where your car is skidding. If your car has an anti-lock brake system, make sure you’re using it correctly.
If you are involved in an accident with another vehicle, stay calm. Report the accident and get your vehicles off the road if possible. Stay warm and dry in your car until the police or paramedics arrive. Document as much of the accident on your own as you can; the evidence may be useful at a later date.
If you have further questions about the steps to take after a winter accident injury, or wish to discuss your case, contact Kelley & Canterbury, LLC.