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What To Do If There Is An Emergency While Driving In Winter Weather

Posted by Jordan Travis | Jan 12, 2023

In 2020, there were 374 fatal crashes and an estimated 25,000 injury crashes that occurred in winter conditions (NHTSA, 2022).

If your car becomes stuck or stalled in winter weather, focus on yourself and your passengers, your car, and your surroundings.

Let your car be seen. Turn on your hazards. Put bright markers on the antenna or windows. Have the interior dome light on when car is running.

Be mindful of carbon monoxide poisoning. Be sure your exhaust pipe is clear of any snow and run your car only sporadically - just long enough to stay warm (about 10 minutes each hour).

Stay with your car and wait for help. Do not leave your car to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards of your location. Avoid overexertion.

Do light exercises to keep circulation (eg. clap your hands, move your arms and legs occasionally). If more than one person is in the vehicle, huddle together for warmth. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

Drink fluids to avoid dehydration.

Before you drive in winter weather stock your vehicle with:

  • a snow shovel, broom and ice scraper;
  • sand or kitty litter in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow;
  • jumper cables, flashlight and warning devices (flares and emergency markers);
  • blankets to stay warm;
  • a cell phone and charger;
  • warm winter coat and tall winter boots;
  • water, food and any necessary medicine.

If you are in an automobile collision during winter weather and the local police department is on Accident Alert, still report it by calling your local law enforcement office or 911. Exchange information with the other driver, call a tow truck or someone to pick you up if the vehicle is not drivable. If the vehicle is not drivable and you are waiting for someone, stay inside your vehicle and stay warm (see above). Once it is safe, seek medical attention. After you have sought out medical care, make a claim with your insurance company and the other vehicle involved's insurance company and then call an attorney. Click here for more information about what to do if you have been in an automobile collision.

An attorney can ensure that the value of your case is maximized. They can also provide you legal guidance on getting reimbursed for your damages.

Contact Travis Legal Offices, LLC today if you have been involved in an automobile collision. Consultations are FREE and we would be happy to talk to you about your claim.

(303) 766-8766

About the Author

Jordan Travis

Jordan M. Travis - Jordan observed first-hand the practice of law while growing up in Colorado. He attended the University of Colorado Boulder, graduating #1 in his class, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with a minor in Leadership. Jordan also attended the University of Colorado ...

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