Winter storm Inga was devastating to Louisiana and the Gulf Coast area, spreading its arctic touch from deep South Texas all the way to Florida. The weather blanketed the South in snow and ice, closing down highways, causing hundreds of crashes – and tragically – several deaths.
Louisiana alone saw four confirmed deaths including a fire official who was fatally injured on Wednesday, January 17th, when a pickup truck pulling a trailer lost control and struck the chief. The individual was investigating a previous crash. In Metairie, an 8-month-old infant was tragically killed when the vehicle plunged into a canal. The crash was attributed to icy roads.
With a few months left of winter, Louisiana is likely to experience another cold snap that could potentially lead to even more tragedies. Our Louisiana car accident attorneys at Cardone Law Firm would like to remind readers about the dangers of driving in these hazardous conditions and tips to prevent a car accident.
With more than 116,000 American injured and 1,300 killed every year on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement, driving on treacherous winter roads has proven to be a cause for concern. Consider the following information when you get behind the wheel this winter season.
Causes of Winter Accidents and Tips to Prepare You For Driving
Accidents happen but preparation goes a long way in preventing them. There are a number of winter driving conditions that lend themselves to car wrecks so it is best to remain vigilant at all times while on the road to keep you and your family safe.
The best advice any driver should take into consideration is to use common sense when driving on hazardous winter roads. They should also watch out for the following:
1. Icy roads
Winter precipitation can leave roads and highways increasingly slippery and dangerous. This is especially true of black ice, which can be nearly impossible to see. Oftentimes, drivers who hit a patch of icy road will over-correct or brake hard, causing their vehicle to spin uncontrollably.
When driving during the winter remember to:
- Drive slowly- When driving on potentially icy roads, use common sense and drive slower than usual. Speeding is a leading cause of car accidents and that risk can quickly increase when traveling on slippery roads.
- Leave extra space between you and the car ahead of you – Icy roads means brakes won’t work quite as effectively. You are likely to need additional space to come to a complete stop so keep a distance of more than two car lengths between you and the driver ahead of you.
- Don’t slam on the brakes – If you begin to slide uncontrollably, one of the worst things you can do is slam on the brakes. This can throw your car into a spinning frenzy. Instead, take your foot off the gas and allow the car to slow down on its own before trying to regain control.
2. Poor visibility
Fog or winter precipitation, coupled with less sunlight because of the winter season, can greatly reduce visibility and increase the likelihood of a car accident. Take the following tips into consideration before hitting the road:
- Leave earlier than usual – Because you should be driving slower in hazardous weather conditions, it is in your best interest to leave earlier than usual for your destination. Attempting to leave on your regular schedule may cause you to rush and place you at a greater risk of harm.
- Prepare in advance – If you are going to take a long road trip or have to travel some distance to get to work, prepare the night before and consider adjusting your route as needed for a safer drive.
- Stay focused behind the wheel at all times – You should always avoid distractions when driving but especially during the winter season when roads can become a little more dangerous. Stay off your cell phone, do not text, do not attempt to use your GPS, or attempt to reach items on the floor.
3. A poorly maintained vehicle
The condition of your vehicle is just as important as road conditions. Bad tires with little traction, improperly working headlights, or broken windshield wipers and defroster fans can all lend themselves to a traffic accident. Keep your vehicle and its various components in working order to avoid any issues during the winter season.
- Carry a winter safety kit in your vehicle – These emergency kits can prove to be invaluable, especially during those freezing winter months. Your winter kit should include:
- Jumper cables
- Sandbags for traction
- Towing rope
- First aid kit
- Ice scraper
- Instant hand warmers
- A flashlight
- Extra food and water
- Know what your insurance covers – Make sure your car insurance covers any damages your car may receive as well as the medical costs of any injuries you may have received.
Knowing what to avoid and taking the proper precautions to avoid them can truly save a life. But, unfortunately, accidents happen. Other drivers on the road may not be as cautious as you are. When you’ve been in a serious car accident in Louisiana, contact the trustworthy lawyers of Cardone Law Firm. With over 40 years of experience, we know what it takes to obtain the recovery you deserve.