Your life changes after a car accident. Even if you are fortunate not to suffer major physical injuries, the shock of a collision can make it forever difficult to get behind the wheel. Living with the memories of a car crash make you wish it had never happened.
Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent accidents even during bad Missouri weather. Those Springfield roads may be slick and icy during winter, but with extra caution and attentiveness, you can keep yourself, your passengers and fellow drivers safe.
1. Pay Attention
Awareness of hazardous conditions is essential to road safety. Black ice, slippery roads and low visibility make an accident more likely. Stay alert to other drivers and pedestrians who may drive fast, jaywalk or otherwise make situations more dangerous. It only takes a second of distraction for an unthinkable accident to occur.
2. Slow Down
Drive 5 to 10 miles below the speed limit on snowy or icy roads or in rainy conditions. Slower speeds mean you’re less likely to skid on slippery streets. Heavy rains combined with fast driving can make your car hydroplane, where you’re off the ground and moving on a layer of water. To stay in control, slow down.
3. Keep Your Headlights On
Your headlights are vital to increase visibility. If you haven’t cleaned your covers in a while, give them a wipe to maximize brightness. Fog lights can help you see the road better, since they are low to the ground, and their yellow tinge is more effective than white beams. Always be aware of the visibility of drivers coming in the opposite direction, and turn your high beams on or off as appropriate.
4. Practice Windshield Wiper Safety
You rely on windshield wipers to clear away snow, rain and debris that obstruct your vision. Aging wiper blades don’t clean effectively, as the rubber doesn’t make full contact with the glass. Consider replacing your wiper blades if the rubber is cracked or you’re preparing for a particularly snowy winter in Springfield. Special winter blades may be your best option.
5. Leave Extra Space Between Cars
The driver in front of you may have to brake without warning. During bad weather conditions, it may take more time for you to stop. Leave about 100 yards between yourself and the car ahead so you can come to a halt without skidding into the other vehicle. Remember 100 yards is about the length of one football field.
6. Put Your Phone Away
Whenever you’re driving, there is no text message or phone call more important than watching the road. Missouri state law prohibits drivers aged 21 or younger from texting and driving, but putting away the mobile device while behind the wheel is good safety practice for all ages.
In order to fully minimize distractions, tell your passengers not to talk to you while you are navigating the roads during bad weather. Keep your eyes and your focus on the task at hand, which is driving safely.
Even the most conscientious drivers sometimes experience a personal injury accident. These events are traumatic and may cause physical devastation. Many people need assistance dealing with insurers, employers and medical professionals in the difficult recovery period.
If you have been in an accident causing personal injury, the attorneys at Mann, Wyatt & Rice can help. Give us a call in Springfield as soon as possible so we can take care of your needs.