Safe Holiday Driving In A Midwest Winter

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Driving Safe In Ice & Traffic

Winter weather has made a late appearance in the Midwest this year.  We were spoiled with above normal temperatures well through November and it appears we are now paying the price.  Sadly, after the holidays, the phones start ringing at our St. Louis personal injury law firm. The extra traffic, combined with icy roadways and tipsy drivers can make getting home from the holidays a dangerous drive.
According to the National Safety Council Injury Facts 2015, traffic fatalities during the three major year-end holidays were considerably higher than the rest of the year:
Christmas Day = 88 people killed
New Year’s Day = 343 people killed
Thanksgiving Day = 360 people killed
Road conditions can be a critical factor in a driver maintaining a safe vehicle on the roadway, though road conditions are often out of our control.

Tips For Wintry Road Conditions

The only way to ensure accident-free travel during poor conditions is to stay off of the road.  However, if you must travel, below are some tips for helping you avoid being the victim of a cold weather crash.

  • Clear all snow and ice from your vehicle’s windows and lights before hitting the road.
  • Do not use your cruise control while driving on slippery surfaces, including snow, sleet, ice and heavy rain.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. It takes longer to slow down on icy roads and avoiding skidding allows you to maintain the most control of your vehicle.
  • Double (or even triple) your normal safe following distance. This allows you more time and space to slow down if the vehicle in front of you applies their brakes.
  • Use extra caution when approaching and on bridges, overpasses, and exit ramps. These surfaces accumulate and hold ice at a quicker rate than a main roadway.
  • Don’t become overconfident in a larger or 4 wheel drive vehicle. Vehicle size and 4×4 transmissions may provide benefit in heavy snow but have little advantage in icy and slick conditions.  Also, larger vehicles are harder to slow down or stop.
  • Make sure your vehicle has been properly maintained and is safe. Having your brakes, battery, and engine checked regularly keeps your vehicle in its best condition for winter travel.  Also have properly functioning windshield wipers so you are able to see all conditions ahead of you.
  • Always wear your seat belt.

Keep an emergency safety kit, extra blankets, and a charged cell phone in the vehicle with you in case trouble does occur.  Depending on the severity of the weather, it may take emergency responders longer than usual to arrive on the scene.

After A Holiday Accident

When you arrive at a safe location, remember that Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers attorneys are available to help with any injury claim resulting from your accident and should be consulted sooner rather than later following any traffic accident. Waiting until the New Year to file a claim can lead you to make mistakes that could ruin your personal injury case.
As you travel to visit family and friends for the holidays, remember that Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers phones are open 24/7.  Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers is available to evaluate your claim and help you receive the best possible outcome of an injury claim.  Call 314.444.4444 to speak with one of our attorneys.
We hope you all have a happy and safe holiday season!

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