With temperatures plummeting, the surfaces are getting icy overnight, making the mere act of walking to your mailbox a potential for disaster. Driving is also a lot more treacherous, as black ice can form and cause you to lose control of your car in less than the time that it takes to blink. As much as I like winter for the holidays and the pretty snow, ever since my mom broke her leg on the ice at our house, it also kind of freaks me out. I rounded up a few tips on how to stay safe this winter, and what to do if you do end up getting hurt (like when you should consider consulting injury lawyers).
Safety on the Walkways
- Clear out all your leaves before the snow starts falling. Wet leaves are just as dangerous as ice on their own, but when covered with frost, they’re death-traps.
- Salt your pathways before the freezing rain starts so you’ll have a clear shot to your car.
- Park in your garage if it isn’t full of random household stuff like mine is. (Note to self- clean out garage).
- Take your time getting from point A to point B. I’m a speed-walker, and I often have to remind myself to slow down and check for ice before I land on my butt.
- If you are hurt on someone else’s property due to their negligence, find out what you need to do to file applicable injury claims against their insurance. Don’t hold off until it’s too late to do anything about it, if you have to go to the hospital because someone forgot to salt their walkway or shovel their snow, make sure you start the claims process right away.
Safety on the Road
- Take it easy on cold mornings and nights, especially after a rainy day. These are the two times that black ice is most likely to form.
- Be careful in tunnels or other places that receive little to no sunlight. Obviously, ice is also more abundant in these areas.
- Pay attention to the cars around you. If the guy in front of you suddenly loses control of his car, it’s a good sign that maybe there is some dangerous patches of road up ahead.
- Don’t slam on the brakes! I actually didn’t know this until recently, but it makes sense. Slamming on the brakes will cause you to slide around even more. Instead, you’re supposed to try to keep your wheel straight, take your foot off the gas, and gently steer your car in the direction of the skid.
- If you are hit by another driver, or you happen to hit something or someone else, go to the hospital. Even if you don’t feel injured, whiplash can take hours to days to affect you. Typically, you can file whiplash claims with your insurance agency, or if the accident wasn’t your fault, with a lawyer.
The most important tip to avoid dangerous icy mishaps is to just watch your step and your speed. Don’t run around all willy-nilly on potentially dangerous surfaces, and don’t go all Speed Racer on the roads during the winter. Remember, you only have to deal with icy conditions for a few months, then you can go back to being your usual daredevil self when spring comes back.
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