01 Dec Winter Driving
Winter driving is just around the corner and is already here in northern states and at higher altitudes. For most of us, the assumption is that snowy conditions mean an escalation in automobile accidents. It turns out, the opposite is true.
June, July, and August are the worst months in Colorado for automobile accident fatalities. The highest months for automobile fatalities in the state are July (averaging 52), August (averaging 51), June (averaging 50). Meanwhile, February’s fatality average is 30, January’s is 33, and December’s is 35.
No, as it turns out, winter is not the safest season for driving, as the numbers are skewed by the number of people using or parking their cars. Fewer cars on the road mean fewer accidents.
At Colorado Accident & Injury, our greatest reward is seeing driver safety improved. Car accident doctors in Colorado Springs offer their greatest margin of safety and documentation if you have ever been in a car accident. Call an automobile accident specialist any time you are in an accident, whether you believe you were injured or not. Arguments in court are won and lost by the amount of delay between the time of the accident and the minutes you lose calling for medical attention. Document your injuries as soon as possible.
And get your car ready for winter. Nobody likes any trip that isn’t safe and secure in the winter months. Here are some tips for getting you through to spring.
- Keep your car washed and in good operating condition. (Allowing your car to rust increases the chance that other safety features will not work when you need them to.)
- Check brakes every fall before snow sets in. Be proactive about keeping brakes in good shape.
- Put on winter tires. The sharp tread really makes a difference
- Check wipers and replace if necessary. Also, keep extra windshield wiper fluid in the car in case the car’s reservoir gets too low.
- Make sure your car’s heater is working at top performance levels
- Check your rear window defroster
- Keep an emergency kit and a viable spare tire on hand
- Emergency kits should include extra batteries, a bag of sand and a shovel, flashlights that work, jumper cables, an ice scraper, equipment for replacing a tire
- A blanket, extra warm clothes
- Flares to warn other drivers of a breakdown or unsafe conditions
Rules of the Road
The rules of the road are different in the winter. In the first place, with snow falling or blowing around, it is assumed that the posted speeding limits are reduced. You are expected to go five to 10 miles per hour slower on rainy days. Those figures are doubled (10 to 20 mph) slower if it is snowing or drifts are moving across the road.
At least double the space between vehicles in snowy or icy conditions. If you allow a slow count of two to space yourself behind someone in summer, at least double that in the winter. Here’s one reason: The car in front of you may have a four-wheel drive and stop relatively quickly, while your car has only a two-wheel drive. You may also hit a sudden spot of black ice. Your stopping power may not be the same as the driver in front or behind you.
Spring, summer, fall, and winter, staying alert is the most important way to stay away from accidents. Snowy conditions reduce visibility. If you add glancing over to your phone to the mix, you could be in serious trouble.
Keep Phone Numbers With You
In this day and age, you should have all of the emergency phone numbers on your phone’s memory bank. Have 911 and local police ready to call. Add 719-917-1000 to your list of emergency numbers. If you are ever in a car accident, call this number to receive prompt attention from car accident doctors in Colorado Springs working in a multi-disciplined approach that combines the skills of top chiropractic care with neuropsychological, speech therapy, physical therapy, pain management, and massage therapy specialists.