If you watch the news, you would think the number of car accidents are way higher in the winter, right? Actually that’s not true! There are more accidents in the summer months as more people are on the road. More cars = more accidents.
But even if winter isn’t when we see the most auto accidents, it’s the time when they can be the most serious. Crashes due to snowy or icy roads can result in significant property damage and severe injuries.
We have five tips to help you be prepared for driving in the winter weather so you can avoid an auto accident injury (and stay out of Dr. Levi’s office!)
- Winterize your car
- Check your fluid levels (especially your antifreeze.)
- Replace your windshield wiper blades.
- Inspect your battery to ensure it’s in tip top shape.
- Make sure your tires are rated for snow and have the right inflation for cold. (Check the label!)
- Never let your gas level get lower than a half a tank in case you get stranded and need to heat your car for a long period of time. A full tank also helps to avoid gas line freezes.
- Be extra careful with your driving
- Sloooooow down. If you are going slow enough you can navigate around most issues instead of slamming on your breaks which can cause you to slide.
- Don’t use cruise control because if you start to hydroplane your car will accelerate as it tries to maintain a constant speed.
- Leave extra stopping space between you and the car in front of you. (If you can read the license plate, you are probably too close.)
- Stay visible by avoiding blind spots and using your headlights even in the day.
- Pack an emergency bag
- Ice scraper
- Phone charger
- Blanket and/or warm clothes
- Food and water
- First aid kit
- Important medications
- Be aware of changing road conditions
- Stay on top of weather and traffic reports.
- Avoid bridges and overpasses if possible as they freeze more quickly.
- Watch for shaded areas as they are more prone to black ice.
- Schedule more time to get to your destination
- If you are rushed you’ll be more apt to drive too fast for the conditions.
- Bad weather may cause you to have to change routes or turn back.
- Completely clearing your car of snow and ice before you drive is important for safety.
- Guess what? There will be traffic.
Unfortunately Dr. Levi sees way more auto accident injuries than he would like this time of year. If you are in an accident, be sure to make an appointment right away regardless if you think you didn’t sustain any injuries. Even low-speed impacts can cause trauma to your muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments as well as cause misalignment issues. Dr. Levi provides results-based care and can make sure there are no long-term problems.