A car accident is never welcome, especially in the middle of winter. The Michigan State Police reports that there were 402 fatalities and 2,699 serious injuries from accidents on snowy, icy, or slushy roads between 2015 and 2019.
While winter weather makes driving more difficult, most car accidents are caused by drivers who fail to adapt their normal driving behaviors to the road conditions. Speeding and tailgating are bad habits in any circumstance. When roads are slippery, such driving becomes a recipe for disaster.
A winter car accident brings with it special considerations that just don’t apply in dry weather. If ice and snow are involved, you may need to take a few extra steps to stay safe and protect your legal claim. Read on for advice about what to do from the car accident attorneys in Detroit at Christensen Law.
If you or anyone involved in the crash has been hurt, call for medical help immediately. It could take longer for the ambulance to reach you in wintry conditions, so the sooner you call, the better. More than half of Michigan counties now offer the ability to text a dispatch center for help. If dialing doesn’t work, try sending a text to 911.
Get Off the Road
If your car can move and it is safe to do so, pull off the road to reduce the chance of a secondary crash. Be very careful, as you’ll be less visible to other drivers in inclement weather, especially snow. It will also be slick, increasing your chance of falling in the path of oncoming vehicles.
If your car is unable to move, stay inside with the seat belt fastened and hazard lights flashing.
Keep Yourself Visible
Carry emergency triangles or flares in your car to stay visible to other drivers. If you don’t have those items, tying a brightly colored piece of clothing to the door handle can help. Turn on the lights inside the car to increase visibility as well.
If possible, collect names and insurance information from every driver involved in the crash. If there are witnesses, get their names as well. This will help for any future injury claim you may need to file.
Keep the windows up and the heat on. Check that your tailpipe isn’t blocked with snow or mud first — otherwise you run the risk of deadly carbon monoxide filling the cabin of the vehicle.
It’s also a good idea to carry some extra blankets and water in the car to help prevent dehydration and hypothermia.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Michigan is a no-fault state for car accidents. Your first avenue to compensation after a winter car accident will be through filing a claim with your own insurance company. If you have been seriously injured in the wreck, you may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. You’ll want to consult with a car accident lawyer before accepting any settlement offer.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer Detroit Today
Were you hurt in a car accident in Detroit? For years, the proven attorneys at Christensen Law have defended the rights of injured motorists throughout Michigan. We have successfully obtained record-setting verdicts and settlements for our clients and take pride in delivering high-quality legal services in a compassionate and friendly atmosphere. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.