Wintertime car accidents are a common source of severe and debilitating personal injuries in Santa Fe and throughout New Mexico. In many cases, wintertime car crashes result from another party’s negligence. Often the negligent party is another motorist who has not driven safely given the weather or has failed to comply with traffic rules designed to keep everyone on the road safe. Under other circumstances, property owners may be liable for wintertime car crashes that result from damaged premises or uncleared debris on the premises. At the same time, companies that design and manufacture motor vehicle parts can also be liable for personal injuries in wintertime car accidents.
While you may not be able to avoid all motor vehicle collisions, there are certain steps you can take to reduce your risk of a personal injury in a car accident this winter. Consider the following tips from our experienced Santa Fe personal injury attorneys.
Get Your Car Ready for Winter Driving
The best way to avoid a winter car crash altogether is to ensure that your vehicle is ready for winter driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Before you drive in the winter, it is important to have your car tuned up, which should include having your fluids checked and your tire tread examined. Have snow tires put on your car ahead of any winter drives? You should also have your battery checked, along with your windshield wipers. If any aspect of your car is not prepared for winter weather, you should have it replaced (such as tires with poor tread or a battery with limited life).
Avoid Driving in Hazardous Conditions if Possible
If you can, avoid driving in hazardous conditions. Wait to get on the road until conditions improve.
Learn How to Drive Safely in Inclement Weather
If you must drive in inclement weather, you should know what to do in order to stay as safe as possible on the road. First, the NHTSA emphasizes, you should know how your car handles winter weather, and you should adapt accordingly. You should slow down if there is low visibility or snow or sleet, and you should be prepared for icy patches on the road. You should also leave a greater following distance between you and the car in front of you so that you can safely stop on a slick winter road.
Be Prepared for an Emergency
In order to prevent injuries in a winter car crash, it is critical to be prepared for an emergency, according to the NHTSA. In the event that you are involved in an accident, or in the event that your car breaks down, you could suffer a secondary injury or secondary harm if you are not prepared for winter weather and the general elements. You should keep flares and emergency lights in your vehicle so that other cars and trucks can see your vehicle if you have been in a crash or if you have broken down. You should also have a blanket in your car to prevent cold-weather injuries. As well as tools to keep you safe, you should also be prepared with a flashlight and jumper cables.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Santa Fe
Do you have questions about filing a claim after a winter car accident? One of our Santa Fe personal injury attorneys can assist you. Contact Slate Stern Law today.