According to statistics reported by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, an average of approximately 50,000 vehicle accidents occur each winter as a result of snowy and icy weather conditions. Each year, these accidents result is approximately 45 fatalities and 5,000 injuries.
Upon consideration of these numbers, it becomes clear that driving in Wisconsin winter weather conditions can often prove dangerous. It is crucial to inform yourself on steps you can take on and off the road in order to ensure maximum safety during the winter months.
Winterize Your Vehicle
You should ensure your vehicle is properly “winterized” before heading out on the roads in winter weather. Examine if your tires are in pristine shape, to properly combat snow and ice. Check your tires’ pressure, as well as your tires’ tread. Utilize the “penny test” in order to check your tires tread. This test entails placing a penny under your tires tread and examining if you are able to fully see Abraham Lincoln’s head. If you are able to fully see his head, this signals it is time to replace your tires.
Make sure your windshield wiper fluid is designed specifically for taking on snowy and icy conditions. You should do the same with your oil. A multi-viscosity 5W30 oil is recommended for snowy and icy weather conditions.
Gather an emergency kit to keep in your car at all times, so you are prepared if you do get into an accident or end up in the ditch. Your kit should include warm garments such as gloves, an ice scraper, food, water, a flashlight and medications.
Maneuver Your Vehicle with Caution
AAA offers pointers on how to maneuver your vehicle properly in winter weather conditions. One tip offered is to avoid getting behind the wheel in the first place if the weather is deemed severe. Only venture out in bad weather conditions if it is extremely necessary.
When you are behind the wheel, increase your following distance between other vehicles to about five or six seconds. This can avoid accidents if your vehicle skids during a stop. Overall, you should avoid completely stopping your vehicle as much as you can. More inertia is required to move your vehicle after a complete stop, when compared to the inertia required to move your vehicle after keeping it rolling.
If a whiteout makes it difficult to see, pull over and wait to resume driving until conditions become safer. You should avoid pulling over on the shoulder of the road, unless it is completely necessary. When visibility is limited, it becomes difficult for other drivers to spot your vehicle if you are located on the road’s shoulder.
Safely Combat a Long-Distance Driving Emergency
Before heading out on your adventure, check weather predictions and stay informed on these predictions throughout the duration of your drive. If dangerous weather is predicted, you should delay your trip.
In the event of an emergency during your drive, you should stay with your vehicle at all times. Your vehicle provides a source of shelter and venturing away from your vehicle could result in your losing sight of it.
If it is daytime, tie a bright colored cloth to the antenna of your vehicle, or place it in a rolled-up window. If it is nighttime, turn on your dome light, which does not utilize much electricity. Both of these actions will better ensure you are found by rescuers.
Oshkosh Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one is involved in an accident that is not their fault this winter, contact Sparr, Belville & Brown, LLC. Our experienced team of attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of your claims in order to prepare a settlement demand for insurance companies. Our knowledgeable preparation leads to settlements in over 90 percent of our cases, securing time and money for our clients. Contact us: (920)-236-3838 for a free case evaluation or fill out our online intake form. No financial risk is involved because we charge no attorney fees unless we take and win your case. With over 60 years of combined experience, our attorneys will thoroughly investigate your accident and obtain the outcome you deserve.