The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is warning of the risks winter weather poses when it comes to car accidents. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of on-the-job injuries in Ashville and elsewhere. And, while the Carolinas may benefit from milder winters than those suffered in much of the rest of the country, drivers in warm-weather states may be at higher risks due to being less experienced and less prepared for cold weather.
We have already written about avoiding winter weather car accidents in Asheville by properly maintaining your vehicle. But what you do behind the wheel is also critical to maintaining your safety and the safety of those around you.
-Practice winter driving in a parking lot or remote area.
-Brake anti-lock vehicles firmly. Those without anti-lock brakes should be stopped by gently pumping the brakes.
-Stay calm in a skid. Ease off the gas while steering in the direction you want the front end to go. Don’t apply either the gas or the brake until you have regained control. Steering into the skid will bring your car back in line.
-Plan your route of travel. Know about potential delays, road conditions and accidents before venturing out.
-Allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
-Always have a cell phone with a good charge. And keep your gas tank as close to full as possible.
-Beware carbon monoxide poisoning if stuck in the snow. Be sure the tailpipe is clear when running a vehicle to stay warm and always crack a window.
-Avoid driving in hazardous conditions whenever possible.
-Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Broom, shovel, ice scraper, abrasive material for traction, flashlight, flares, jumper cables, blankets, water, food and medicine are a few of the items that should be part of your travel kit.
-Don’t leave an abandoned vehicle unless safe to do so. Don’t wander off. Beware of traffic and the risk of secondary accidents.
-Don’t overexert yourself.
-Always wear your seat belt and require everyone in your vehicle to buckle up.
-Don’t drive distracted.
-Dress appropriately — dress as though you may be stranded or out longer than you anticipate.
-Never leave a child unattended around a vehicle.
Safety is no accident. It usually takes careful planning. The Carolinas are not known for brutal winters. But at the same time employees certainly face increased risk during inclement weather. Make sure your vehicle has been serviced and is ready for winter. Plan your route. Know the risks. Drive carefully. And be prepared. Employers and employees alike can take steps to reduce their risks of being involved in a car accident while on the job. That is true all year long. But winter brings with it special risks. Take it seriously and plan accordingly.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.
-Carolina Car Accidents a Primary Cause of On-the-Job Injuries; Don’t Drive Distracted in 2012! North Carolina Workers Compensation Blog Jan. 6, 2012.
Cold Weather Presents Risk For Carolina Work Injuries, North Carolina Workers Compensation Blog, Jan. 3, 2012.