Winter Weather Accidents in Indiana a Risk Heading into Holidays

Officials with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) want you to be safe on our roadways and understand that can be a bit more difficult during the winter driving season.

They’re also reminding you: “Ice and Snow, Take it Slow!”
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First and foremost, you want to make sure you’re ready. Before heading out, make sure you check weather and road conditions. Know the route you’re taking and make sure it’s clear. Also, make sure you’ve got plenty of gas. It’s not a bad idea to carry a winter driving kit which should include: blankets, flashlight and extra batteries, a brightly colored cloth, sand (or cat litter), shovel, candle, matches, non-perishable high calorie food, a first aid kit and jumper cables and cell phone.

Our Highland car accident lawyers understand that, each year, more than 800 people lose their lives on Hoosier roadways. Most of those crashes were caused by driver errors such as impaired driving, speeding, aggressive driving or distracted driving. The good news is that as a driver, you hold the key to crash prevention.

Reliable transportation is especially important in the winter. While you should you keep your vehicle in top operating condition all year round – for safety and fuel economy — it is especially important to get it winterized to avoid any unpleasant or dangerous situations while traveling in frigid weather.

It’s very important to remember that the state will be deploying snow plows during this time of the year. These vehicles handle much different than our passenger vehicles and it’s important that we alter our driving habits to accommodate them.

-Keep your distance. These vehicles need room to work. You want to remember that they are wide and can often occupy more than one lane. Don’t travel too closely to them and do not attempt to pass then. Watch for snowplows on interstate ramps and “authorized vehicle only” turnarounds.

-Watch your speed. Snow plows travel well under the posted speed limit. Be patient when you’re behind them. Allow yourself plenty of time to slow down when approaching a snow plow.

-Remain visible. Remember that operators of snow plows are working with limited vision. You may be able to see their vehicle, but they may not always be able to see you. Keep your distance.

-Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly, and never slam on the brakes. If you have anti-lock brakes, press the pedal down firmly and hold it. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, gently pump the pedal. Either way, give yourself plenty of room to stop.

These beasts of the road need room to do their work properly. While you may think they’re in your way, you are probably in theirs. And they’re bigger, and they’re throwing snow and debris, so you need to back off! Don’t crowd the plow.

Indiana Car Accident Attorney Burton A. Padove handles cases of personal injury throughout northern Indiana, including Gary, Hammond and Calumet City. Call Toll Free 877-446-5294.

More Blog Entries:

Teen Driver Safety Week an Important Focus as Holiday Season Approaches, Indiana Injury and Family Lawyer Blog, October 30, 2013

Moped Rider Seriously Injured in Kokomo Hit-And-Run Accident, Indiana Injury and Family Lawyer Blog, September 30, 2013