Before a Winter Car Accident Happens, Know How to Respond - Osgar's Autobody

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Before a Winter Car Accident Happens, Know How to Respond

December 10, 2014

Nearly a quarter of vehicle crashes that happen each year are weather-related – that’s almost 1.5 million car accidents. Snow and sleet, icy roads, slush pavement and other inclement weather conditions make driving on roads perilous, and increase the odds of a winter car accident. If you’ve never been in a winter car accident, or it’s been awhile since you’ve had to deal with an event, it’s important to know in advance how to properly respond.

Reacting to a winter car accident

In any kind of winter car accident, even if it’s just a fender bender, your first response should be to ensure that passengers in the vehicle or OK. Then, call 911 or your local police department for help. Once you know everyone’s OK, follow these tips:

 

  • Check on the condition of occupants in the other vehicle.
  • If the accident occurs on a busy road or interest, try to move the vehicle so you don’t cause additional accidents.
  • Take steps to stay safe by putting up road flares (if you have them) or turning your vehicle’s hazard lights on.
  • If you have to wait awhile for help to arrive, do what you can to stay warm. Put on additional layers of clothing. If you have a survival kit in your car, get out blankets and put on extra hats and gloves to avoid getting cold.
  • If you’ve gone off the road and snow levels are high, make sure your vehicle’s exhaust pipe isn’t blocked. First, shut off the car, and if you’re able, go outside and remove the snow around the pipe. If you can’t unblock the pipe for some reason, don’t run the car. Otherwise, carbon monoxide could backdraft into the vehicle.
  • Know the signs of hypothermia and frostbite. Signs of frostbite include not being able to feel an area of the body that’s exposed or having skin that’s discolored. Signs of hypothermia range from numbness, shivering or glassy eyes, as well as loss of consciousness.

Preventing a car accident

The best way to avoid a winter car accident is to drive defensively and wisely in inclement weather. Some precautionary steps to take include never driving while tired, keeping the car in good condition (by checking the tire pressure), driving with a full tank of gas, and never using cruise control when the roads are icy or wet. Drive slowly and be alert about what other drivers are doing.

Of course, if you don’t have to go out on the roads, don’t.  For more winter driving safety tips or for help dealing with a winter car accident, contact Osgar’s Autobody today!

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