Stay Safe While Driving on New York’s Roads

Personal Injury Lawyers Help New Yorkers Stay Safe When Traveling by Car

In New York and across the nation, driving is always somewhat dangerous. In 2014 alone, there were over 30,000 people killed in car accidents on U.S. roadways. Another 2.3 million people were injured. What is causing so many accidents? All the things you would expect: distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, road conditions, and more.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the weather has played a significant role in a large number of accidents and injuries on our roads. Their report shows that the 10-year average based on data from 2002-12 suggests that 23% of vehicle crashes, 20% of crash injuries and 17% of crash fatalities are weather related. They define weather related as occurring “in the presence of adverse weather and/or slick pavement conditions.”

Preparing Your Vehicle for Bad Weather Might Help Minimize Damages

No matter how hard you try to prevent an accident, external factors may be out of your control. For example, weather conditions such as fog, rain, wind, ice, and snow can make for treacherous driving. The best thing to do when the roads are slick is to avoid driving altogether. But, we all have responsibilities that often make staying home impossible. Before inclement weather hits, there are several things you can do to make sure you and your vehicle are ready.

  • Start by having your car inspected and serviced by a professional
  • Check your wipers and defrosters to ensure maximum visibility
  • Fill your windshield washer fluid tank and keep extra in your car
  • Check your tires for pressure and age, and put snow tires on if necessary
  • Check your battery which wears down faster in cold weather
  • Check your coolant level to be sure that if it freezes it won’t damage your engine
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times
  • Make sure your car does not have worn brakes, and understand how they work in rainy, icy, and snowy conditions

Observe Extra Safety Precautions When Driving During Adverse Conditions

Once your car gets a clean bill of health, it is up to you to practice safe driving. Extra caution on the roads, especially in nasty weather, can go a long way towards keeping your family safe.

  • Wear seatbelts at all times while in your vehicle
  • Avoid driving while tired or distracted as this makes already dangerous conditions even more so
  • Do not use cruise control while driving on slick surfaces
  • Leave extra room between you and the car in front of you so that you can avoid sudden braking
  • Drive slowly and understand that it is harder to control your car on wet, slippery roads
  • Accelerate and brake slowly-avoid coming to a full stop whenever possible
  • Be especially careful on hills
  • Do not ever warm up or cool down your car while in a closed garage

Additional Safety Precautions May Reduce Personal Injuries

If you do experience an accident or a breakdown, it is important that you are prepared. If you are stuck in a storm or injured on the side of the road, you may face dangers that are even worse than an accident. A little bit of thinking ahead of time can make a big difference. If you must go out in inclement weather, or embark on a long trip, consider the following precautions:

  • Plan and familiarize yourself with your route to avoid having to depend on maps and GPS when visibility might be bad
  • Give yourself plenty of time
  • Notify someone of your plans and your travel route, so they can locate you if you have trouble
  • Fill your gas tank
  • Stock your car with things you might need in the event of an emergency such as; jumper cables, an ice scraper, a snow shovel, sand, a flashlight, flares, blankets, water, food, medication, a fully charged cell phone and charger

If your car breaks down or you experience an accident, safety must be your priority.

  • Contact the police right away and, if you are able, move to a safe spot out of traffic’s way.
  • Set up any flares or cones so other vehicles can see you.
  • Be sure to stay as warm as possible
  • Try not to exert yourself too much
  • If it is cold outside and you can run the car to get some heat, clear the tailpipe of any snow and ice to prevent carbon monoxide from getting into the car- open a window if needed

Whether you are driving in New York or across the country, it is our sincere hope that you and your family enjoy safe travels. If you experience any issues, however, you may wish to consult with our New York personal injury attorneys who understands the complicated nature of personal injury claims. Contact Leeds Brown at 1-800-585-4658 to learn about your legal rights after a motor vehicle accident and whether we can help you recover any compensation you deserve.