With winter weather sweeping the nation recently, it’s important more than ever to remember winter driving tips. Knowing how to handle your vehicle in snowy and icy conditions is a must, as is preparing your car for winter driving and stocking up on your winter emergency kit essentials.
But even if you are very prepared for winter driving, other drivers -- especially those from areas that typically don’t get lots of ice or snow -- may not be as well-equipped as you. This means that winter driving accidents will happen. Here’s what to do if you end up in a car accident in wintry conditions.
Winter Driving Accidents
1. Remain Out of the Way
If you’re involved in a winter driving accident, move your vehicle to the right side of the road as far away from traffic as you can get. Once moved, put on your hazard lights. You want to be visible to the other cars, and also protect yourself in case of a collision -- you never know what the winter weather will cause another car to do!
2. Call 911
Once you have moved safely to the side of the road, it’s time to evaluate the situation and see if medical assistance is necessary. If any parties were injured in the winter driving accident, call 911 to request an ambulance.
Even if no one needs medical attention, you should still call 911 so that law enforcement can come to assist and help you file a police report. Especially when winter driving conditions are hazardous, it’s helpful to have police at the scene of your car accident -- they will divert traffic and help prevent future accidents.
3. Get Information From Other Drivers
After dangerous winter driving causes a collision, it’s key that you collect information from your fellow drivers. You’ll need the name, phone number, address, birth date, driver’s license number, and insurance information from any cars involved in the accident. Also note the make, model, year, license plate number, and vehicle identification number (VIN) of all vehicles involved.
If the drivers of any cars involved don’t actually own the vehicles, also be sure to get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the vehicles’ owners. You can also collect this information from the passengers involved in the winter driving accident as well as witnesses from other vehicles not directly involved in the crash.
4. Gather Evidence
While waiting for the police, take photo or video evidence of your winter driving accident, including the scene, any injuries, the damage to any vehicles involved, and the winter road conditions that may have contributed to the crash. Since the weather can change at any time, it’s important to capture the specific winter driving conditions at the time of the accident.
When the police arrive, it’s time to give your statement. Be calm and explain the facts of the winter driving accident. If you intend to fight any traffic tickets, be sure that you don’t admit guilt.
You should also speak with your insurance company to let them know about the accident. You may wish to consult an attorney before going on the record with your insurance, or you can go ahead and give a recorded statement.
Your insurance company or attorney will handle speaking to the other drivers’ insurance companies.
Protect Yourself From Winter Mechanical Breakdown MPBI
Another way to stay prepared for winter driving? Get an extended car service plan from Mechanical Breakdown Protection, Inc. Even if your original warranty has expired, we’ll be there when your car experiences a mechanical breakdown, from malfunctioning electronics to a mechanical transmission issue. Trust us, when these mechanical problems arise, you don’t want to be left out in the cold.
To learn more about MPBI and our services, contact Mechanical Breakdown Protection, Inc. at (816) 287-2277 or (855) 201-0073.