Speeding and negligence are leading causes of motor vehicle accidents across Utah. In 2017 alone, over 41% of traffic-related fatalities were caused by speeding drivers. This is especially true in the cold winter months. Winter weather conditions cause both snow and ice, which can make it much riskier to travel down roads in Utah during and after storms. Unfortunately, not all drivers out there are conscious of this, and many will engage in risky behaviors while behind the wheel.
If you are ever injured in a car accident caused by a speeding or negligent driver, it is imperative to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Our skilled and reputable attorneys at Siegfried & Jensen are always available to help you during your time of need.
Not only are we available to help ensure you are able to obtain full and fair compensation for your accident, but we are also here to help provide some safety tips that can keep you safer on the roadways. While driving, it is important to focus on maintaining a safe environment for you by paying attention to the road and what is going on around you. Additionally, you will need to protect yourself against the poor driving of others sharing the roadways. Whether you have been involved in a car accident caused by negligent drivers in the past or not, there are a few very important things you should focus on in order to stay safe on the roads during winter in Utah.
Always Clean Your Vehicle Before Heading Out
It is imperative to clear all the snow and ice from your vehicle before going out on the roads. You should never drive a vehicle full of ice and snow on the windshield, roof, and rear windows as it can be very dangerous for you as well as others on the road.
If you do not adequately clear your vehicle before heading out, there is a possibility that snow and ice will fall off as you drive. This can make it difficult for you to see and it can strike other vehicles along the roadways as well. There are some instances where you can be fined for snow accumulation on your vehicle, even if no danger is created. If snow or ice flies off your vehicle and causes an accident, you can be held liable for injuries and damages sustained by others.
Drive At A Safe Speed
In normal weather conditions, it is usually perfectly acceptable to drive speeds up to the posted limit. Unfortunately, this is not something you should follow during winter weathers. It is imperative for you to drive at a safe speed that enables you to maintain control of your vehicle.
If snow and ice are on the roadways, it is important for you to slow down and be cautious. You will want to provide at least a six-second following distance between you and vehicles ahead on the roads. While traveling on curved roads, or going around corners, you will want to adjust your speed as well. It is crucial to remain in control of your vehicle at all time. Ice and snow on the roads make this difficult, which is why you need to slow down and ensure you are able to maneuver safely.
Although you may feel as if you are in a hurry to reach your destination, it is imperative for you to remain considerate of snowplows on the roadways. You should never attempt to pass a snowplow that is on your side of the road for any reason. The fact that the plow is ahead of you is a good indication that the road is unkempt ahead. Traveling behind the plow ensures the roads will be clear and safe for you to travel on as you go.
Rather than trying to pass them, try to stay at least six car lengths behind them. Move away from the center line if one is approaching from the opposite direction. These vehicles need to clear the roadways to ensure everyone is able to travel safely. Although it may seem like a bit of an inconvenience, it is crucial for you to let them go ahead and clear the roads as necessary.
Understanding Your Brakes On Icy Roadways
The type of brakes you have on your vehicle should dictate how you should use them in snow or ice. If you have antilock brakes, it is crucial to maintain steady pressure while braking. You should never pump the brakes for any reason. If you have standard brakes, you can pump the brakes to avoid skidding over icy surfaces. If you ever begin to fishtail along the roadways, you will want to steer the vehicle in the direction in which you want to go, not the opposite one.
Always Wear Proper Restraints
Although you should wear safety belts at all times while traveling in motor vehicles, it is particularly important to remain properly restrained while traveling in the winter months. Snow and icy road conditions can cause your vehicle to go off the road at any time. Whether you strike a bridge, go into a ditch, or hit another vehicle, you are at risk of being ejected if you are not wearing a seatbelt. The majority of individuals who are ejected from their vehicles sustain very serious injuries that result in permanent impairment. In an effort to avoid this from happening, it is imperative for you to remain fastened in.
A Utah Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
If you are ever injured in a car accident caused by a reckless or negligent driver in Utah, it is crucial to contact a personal injury attorney at Siegfried & Jensen as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries and damages sustained in the crash. With over 30-years of experience, our clients can focus on their recoveries knowing that their best interest is protected with us. Contact our law firm today at (801) 845-9000 to schedule a free case review so we can explore what legal options are available for your case.