Snow and Ice Safety
Winter weather can be beautiful and allow for fun activities like skiing and sledding. Unfortunately, it can also create dangerous road conditions and increase both car crashes and slip and fall accidents. Before you go out into snow and ice, review our safety tips to help prevent injuries.
Behind the Wheel
If you can avoid heading out during a snowstorm, staying at home is the safest thing you can do. When you do go out, drive slowly to account for lower traction on snow or ice and increase your following distance to 5 or 6 seconds to give yourself extra time to stop. Accelerate and decelerate slowly and do not use cruise control or slam on the brakes. If you can avoid stopping, do so. When you’re approaching a red light, slow down so you can roll through the light as soon as it turns green.
Take extra caution when going up hills – try to gather speed beforehand, let that speed carry you to the top, and reduce your speed on the way down. Don’t apply extra gas or stop moving on an icy hill, as your wheels will spin, and you may even roll backward.
Always keep cold-weather gear (such as warm clothing, blankets, food and water, and an ice scraper) in your car, and be prepared to get snuck in the snow. Never warm up your vehicle in an enclosed area, like a garage. Keep your tires properly inflated with plenty of tread, and make sure you have half a tank of gas in your car at all times.
For more winter driving tips, check out this article from AAA.
Out and About
Snow and ice can be slippery, so you’ll need to be careful when you are outside of your vehicle, too. Wear well-insulated footwear with good traction and walk at a slower pace, taking small, deliberate steps to detect slippery surfaces. Some people call this “the penguin walk” due to the slow, flat-footed gait that helps you keep your balance in winter weather conditions.
Wear sunglasses so you can see properly and consider wearing bright clothing so nearby drivers can see you, too. Be extra careful when getting in and out of your car and entering or exiting a building. If you need to, use your vehicle for support (see infographic 3) and use handrails whenever they are available. Look ahead for cars and patches of ice and plan your route accordingly. Before entering a building, remove any traction cleats you are wearing and wipe your feet on the doormat. Walk slowly, as melted snow can create hazards in the doorway.
Keep your hands free and out of your pockets all winter long so you can catch yourself in the event of a fall. You can use a purse or backpack to carry your things and wear gloves to keep your hands warm. Do not take shortcuts through snow and ice and stick to paths that have been shoveled and salted. Always anticipate ice and pay attention to what you’re doing. You could miss a patch of black ice if while listening to headphones or sending a text.
Unsafe Drivers and Locations Without Snow Removal
Even with safety in mind, someone else’s carelessness could cause an accident. If a reckless driver causes a car accident or a property owner fails to shovel and salt their parking lot or walkway, you could be entitled to compensation.
Our attorneys at Foley Griffin, LLP understand snow and ice injuries. We can help you identify negligence and get the compensation you need for medical bills, missed work, and other accident-related expenses.
If you want to secure your future after a winter car crash or slip and fall accident, put our 75+ years of combined experience on your side.
Call us at (888) 966-8480 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today.