Driving in Icy Conditions
A thick blanket of pristine white covers everything around. You are driving down an icy road on a night and suddenly, the car starts skidding. An experienced driver might regain control of his car. In other cases, an accident is inevitable.
Icy roads could be accompanied by hailstorms. The driver’s visibility also becomes limited. It is treacherous to drive on ice-plagued highways. When temperatures drop so drastically, it is best to stay indoors and avoid driving. But you have things to do, places to go, and chores to attend that become unavoidable. Take all the requisite precautions while driving and regulate the speed of your car. However, what happens if you still meet up with a dreadful accident?
Some parts of the country already have snow falling. We had a lot of snow in Texas. Driving in these conditions can be hazardous. There are more than 1.5 million car accidents associated by poor driving conditions. These conditions are usually caused by bad weather. Poor driving conditions killed 7,000 people and injured 800,000.
You certainly do not want to become a statistic.
Top mistakes people make driving in the snow
Driving too fast
Did you know it takes 4 to 10 times longer to brake on icy or snowy asphalt than it does on dry pavement Driving too fast can reduce the amount of time you react to a situation and can add to the severity of any collision you might have. If it is freezing or below, reduce your speed. If the roads have no iced up, they probably will.
Following too closely
Following too closely in poor weather or snowy conditions will definitely reduce your reaction time for anything the car in front of you does. It is recommend that you double or even triple your normal distance in between autos. Reaction time is increased if you double your distance and may give you the extra time you need if the vehicle in front of you stops suddenly.
Slamming on brakes
Tires slipping on the ice or snow can cause panic and make you want to slam on the brakes. When you do this, it may cause you to lose traction from your tires and your ability to control your car or truck. When you find yourself skidding or the tires losing traction you should immediately take your foot off the accelerator and steer your way out of a collision. Have you ever watched a car lock there brakes up on snowy or icy conditions? What happened? They just went completely out of control; the idea is to stay in control.
Anti lock brakes are really useful in situations like these. They allow the tire to keep moving and keep traction, while slowing down. Apply even pressure with an ABS system.
False sense of security
Four wheel drive and ABS give people a false sense of security when driving in snowy conditions. Four wheel drive does give an advantage in snow conditions, there no doubt about it. But what it can do is give you a false sense of security.
Some may think they can run down the road just as they do on dry pavement, while they probably could, they may have a hard time stopping. SUV’s are a lot heavier than cars and require more stopping distance. Four wheel drive and all wheel drive are fantastic, but it does not make them invincible.
Steps to Take After an Icy Road Accident
Stay calm, yes, it is a very tricky situation, but you have to think and act fast. Immediately connect with an accident doctor. If you have been badly injured, ask for someone’s help to help you reach emergency services.
Take the services of a specialized car accident doctor from our extensive database of doctors.
Seeking the services of an experienced doctor is essential in a fateful situation like this. Firstly, he will attend to your injuries at the earliest. Also, the sooner you connect with a doctor, the better will be your chances of getting a compensation claim.
- Call for an emergency medical treatment right away
- Make sure all the people in the car are safe and out of the way where the accident occurred
- If possible click pictures of the accident scene
- Are witnesses around? take their contact number
If you are suffering from severe injuries, or the trauma of the event leaves you numb, chances are that you do not act immediately. Or, sometimes, people do not feel the impact of the accident right away. A lot of time gets wasted after all the confusion following an accident. However, further delaying your visit to a specialized accident doctor might diminish the chances of getting personal injury compensation.
And what about the hidden injuries that go untreated? They could cause a health condition for life. Adrenaline is a hormone coursing through your veins that triggers the human body to go into a flight response. In the wake of a car accident, the adrenaline will make you feel totally fine, causing you to disregard seeking medical attention.
Once the adrenalin rush subsides, your body will start feeling the pain. It may be a few hours or a day later. Though a lot of ‘valuable’ time has elapsed and you haven’t still received medical aid, seek the medical services now!
Visiting your Doctor Right After the Car Accident
To claim strong compensation, you must visit the doctor immediately following the car accident. For most insurance companies, 72 hours is a reasonable period. Visiting the accident specialist is also beneficial for your overall health.
A thorough medical examination
A medical professional will conduct a thorough examination to rule out the possibilities of any internal health damage. They will suggest some x-rays and other scans necessary to rule out any internal injuries.
Injuries may appear late
Some common injuries that a victim can suffer after a car accident include brain injuries, muscle pain, back, and neck injuries. Many issues appear several days after the accident. These include pain in certain areas of the body, cramps, backaches, whiplash, and more. Report these health conditions to your doctor as soon as you start experiencing them.
A written health record
All this while, your specialized accident doctor will keep a record of all these health issues while you slowly recover from the mental and physical trauma of the accident. Do not withhold any information regarding your health from your doctor. Explain your psychological state so that the doctor can make a note of the same.
Your compensation claim
The detailed file that your doctor prepares regarding your health condition, tests, medical bills, recovery, medicines, and emotional state will be a huge witness for your compensation claim. Insurance companies might not easily agree to reimburse your insurance amount. They might do a thorough cross-examination of the accident scenario, interview witnesses and other victims(if any), and badger you about the incident.
Vehicle collision due to icy or slippery roads is covered by liability insurance. However, it is not an easy task to get away out with insurance agents. And in case things take a bad turn and your settlement claim case goes to court, your medical file will serve as an important key.
The legal side of snow and ice car accidents
Acting with due care. what does that mean. Every driver is responsible for his or hers own actions, no matter if there is snow and ice on the roads or not. If you lose control of your car on the ice and cause an accident, you or your insurance company could be held liable for damages to the other person’s vehicle or injury.
A reasonable person, is how it is stated would not drive out in icy road conditions and be involved in a car accident. A reasonable person would know if they had the ability and the vehicle to drive in such conditions. Laws differ in every state, some laws are more clear than others when it comes to road conditions.
Who is At Fault for a car accident caused by the ice or snow?
When you have a car accident in dry weather or ice conditions, you are going to be responsible. You are responsible for the safe operation of your car in any weather. If there is ice and snow on the roadways, maybe you should not be out in it. Insurance companies are going to look at every aspect of your car accident. Some people feel that if they lose control of their car because of the ice and snow, no matter what they hit, they are not at fault. The insurance company is not going to take that same approach.
You may be surprised that if you are involved in a car accident on black ice or in the snow, you could still be at fault for the accident. We all like to blame others for our shortcomings, but we can’t blame the weather, we knew it was bad and chose to go anyway.
You have assumed the risk when you drove on that snow & ice covered roadway
- Is an icy or snowy road car accident considered an ‘Act of God’?
- Was the at fault driver behaving reasonably when they chose to drive on an icy road?
- Where you behaving reasonable for being out in the snow and ice?
The insurance companies approach is going to be no matter what the road conditions are, you are responsible for the operation of your car in safe manner. Icy roads can no doubt be hard to drive on, especially down here in the south. You are expected to take extra caution when driving on the ice and snow to avoid a car accident. You have the responsibility to operate your car in a safe manner, no matter what the conditions are.
Icy roads and snow can contribute to a car accident, and the police officer may write up the accident report that way. You may have found yourself losing control of you car, along with the other party as well. We have two out of controlled cars hitting each other because of ice and snow, who is to blame, both of you.
Police may not even write a accident report
In some instances, he may be able to determine who was at fault and write 26 (other) on contributing factors. In other cases, you may have slid through a 4 way stop and struck a car. An officer may write you at fault for the car accident, no matter if you slid on ice and snow or not.
While you may not have received a citation in your accident, this does not mean you are off scot free. The other party may not have received a citation as well. Now we enter the battle of the insurance companies. One or both will reject liability in the incident. If you have full coverage , you might be better off filing a claim and let your insurance company work for you. Finding who was at fault in a snow and ice roadway accident may be left of to the insurance companies rather than the police. If you don’t have the coverage, maybe you should just stay at home. People up north don’t have that luxury, this is normal for them, but for the south, everything shuts down.
Driving in Ice & Insurance claim
If you are wondering whether the insurance company covers insurance against driving in icy conditions, yes they do, but on very strict terms. When the insurance company determines fault, it reviews all the possible circumstances.
The types of damage in Sliding-in-Ice accidents include:
- Injury to others(another car, person)
- Injury to yourself/passengers in your car
- Damage to yourself
- Damage to another vehicle/property
- Towing costs
Driving in black ice, and snowy road conditions are not easy. Nevertheless, the insurance company will exert optimum pressure to transfer the blame on the driver. They will not agree to the circumstances leading to the accident. The medical records maintained by your accident doctor will be of prime importance in your claim settlement.
Do I have a personal injury case if my accident was a result of ice or snow?
As many of us are aware the eastern seaboard has suffered an ice and snow storm that has left a path of devastation and wreckage among our roadways. If you were one of the unlucky ones in an accident on the snow and ice you may or may not have a personal injury case.
[French, A superior or irresistible power.] An event that is a result of the elements of nature, as opposed to one caused by human behavior.
The term force majeure relates to the law of insurance and is frequently used in construction contracts to protect the parties in the event that a segment of the contract cannot be performed due to causes that are outside the control of the parties, such as natural disasters, that could not be evaded through the exercise of due care
If you have been injured in an auto accident not caused by you in the ice and snow, you may be out of luck.
In an auto accident case, you have to show the defendant was negligent in some way. An example would be he ran a red light and hit you, or he ran a stop sign, he was drunk and ran into the back of your car. When you have ice and snow, who is negligent. you can always try and show the defendant was not using the proper equipment, had bad tires, or should not have even been out their in the first place. The problem with that is, you should have not been there as well.
Force Majeure is an event that is a direct result of the forces of nature, not and event caused by human behavior. If car A slid into the back of car B because of the ice, is there negligence involved? Only a lawyer can answer that.
How can I protect myself if I’m injured in the event of an accident caused by ice and snow?
One way to protect yourself is to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage on your car. Many people in the united states only carry the minimal coverage’s in the state for which they live. Insurance is protection, and you need to make sure you are fully protected. Make sure you have enough Med pay to cover your medical expenses in the event you are injured. This will pay all your medical that the insurance company deems and reasonable and necessary treatment.
If you have an older car that you don’t feel requires full coverage, at least insure it with uninsured motorist. Uninsured motorist protects you from people who don’t have enough or no insurance. This winter season has brought a lot of snow and ice to areas that never see any. Be careful this winter season
Do I need a specialized doctor to treat my accident injuries?
Yes, you do. Usually, a primary care doctor does not provide treatment for car accident injuries. There are specialized emergency doctors trained to handle complex accident situations.
We have an extensive lineup of skilled doctors who are experienced in handling these traumatic situations. You can call the nearest doctor from our database. While you are rushed to the emergency care, they get all preparations done so that treatments can start as soon as you arrive at the hospital/clinic.
Victims of car accidents suffer bone and muscle injuries namely that of the skull, spine, soft injuries, ligaments, and more. In case you need a specialist, they will conduct initial examinations and refer you to a professional expert.
Besides, an accident doctor is well-trained to note down all the intricate details entailing the accident. He will also write a detailed account of the circumstances leading to the accident.
Another major detail that your medical records should include is the psychological impact of the incident. Also, your emotional health post-accident and how long you take to come out of the trauma. Apart from these details, all your medical bills and other treatment expenses are compiled in the medical report.
Be prepared for what might come
Don’t be caught off guard by changing weather. I found myself driving to Breckenridge, Co last year with deteriorating weather. It was getting late, we arrived in the town of Breckenridge only to find cars sliding all over the place. The roads were icing up and I was in a front wheel drive rental car. This car could barely make up the last light out of town. I should have gotten a heavy SUV. I was not expecting the weather to change so rapidly, I was caught off guard.
- Tires-do you need snow tires or new ones
- Antifreeze-check your antifreeze for proper level
- Battery level-Nothing worse than having a dead cell in your battery and be out in the middle of nowhere and your car won’t start, have your battery checked
- Defroster-make sure your defroster is functioning correctly. Make sure you have no moisture or water in your car or in your trunk. This can fog your windows up and the defroster won’t be able to clear them.
- Snow shovel and cat litter- you might find yourself having to dig out of a situation.
- Snow scraper-scrape that ice off the windshield
- Might want to bring that ole rusty snow shovel along with some cat litter. Flare, snow scraper and flashlight might be good to bring along.
- Extra blankets or survival blanket-If you car breaks down and its cold, you will get cold
- Cell phone-make sure its charged
- Chains- In some areas, chains are used for navigating through snow and ice. In the south, the only chain we have is to pull someone out of the mud.
- 4 Wheel drive- I have owned a Jeep for a while now and absolutely love it, i think it has the best 4 wheel drive system in any vehicle. It did wonderful in the first snow storm we had. When others where in the ditch, we were moving just fine
- Slow Down-People think here cars can stop in the same distance in the rain as dry pavement down here, throw some snow and ice in the mix and you have a disaster waiting to happen.
Driving more carefully in these types of conditions makes a lot of sense. However, I have observed some folks who still drive as they normally would, only to see them crashed or in a ditch a mile down the road. Make sure to increase your distance substantially between you and the next car. Make sure to not go out if you don’t absolutely have to. Many businesses in the south completely close down when this type of weather hits.
Protect yourself and your family, be careful when you drive in these poor weather conditions.
Driving in icy conditions should be avoided unless otherwise necessary. Accidents leave behind physical as well as emotional scars. Added to it are the financial constraints of hefty medical bills and car repair expenses. The settlement of your insurance claim will ease out the big burden of your emotional and financial crisis.
Check out our extensive database of medical doctors who provide specialized services in your area. They will provide top-notch medical services and guide you in maintaining a detailed record. Contact us now.