Winter is here in Oklahoma City, and while we usually don’t see a lot of snow, we always see some, as well as several days a year when the temperature fails to rise above freezing. Wintertime means winter driving, which can be dangerous. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 1,300 people are killed each year and more than 116,000 are injured in traffic-related accidents that occur on slushy, snowy, or icy roadways. Read on for more information about preparing yourself for winter driving in Oklahoma City.
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Before You Go
Preparation means planning ahead and it is definitely a good idea when it comes to winter driving. Before you hit the road this winter, make sure you do the following:
Plan your trip carefully, paying close attention to weather forecasts and road conditions, not only for the local area but for any area that you are traveling through on your journey.
Leave earlier than you need to. This will give you the time you may need to travel slowly on slick roads.
Let your engine heat up before you turn the heat on. If you start your car well before you need to leave, you will have better fuel efficiency and you won’t be distracted from the road by your shivers.
Remove all frost from your windshield and windows. Driving with obstructed vision is incredibly dangerous.
Always let someone know when you are intending to leave on a winter road trip, your anticipated arrival, and the route you are planning to take.
In Your Car
Pack a winter driving kit in your car that includes winter car care items such as:
Jumper cables, anti-ice windshield wiper fluid, tire chains, and a jack.
A change of clothes, an extra pair of mittens and a warm hat.
Non-perishable snacks and bottled water.
An ice and snow remover.
These items will not only help you stay warm and focused while driving in cold temperatures, but could also potentially save your life if you end up in a car accident in the middle of winter.
Under the Hood
It is important heading into the winter months to do routine maintenance on your car to ensure that it is in proper working order. Some of the areas you should pay close attention to include:
The windshield wiper and wiper fluid.
The oil — there is a winter blend that can help your car perform better in cold weather.
Brakes and brake fluid.
Heater and defroster.
You should also ensure that your tires have good tread for the winter conditions. Be aware that cold weather will reduce your tire pressure, so you should check it regularly through the winter months.
On the Road
The safest place to be during a winter storm is at home. However, if you simply must go out, there are a number of things you should do in order to help your journey be a safer one:
Slow down. The faster you’re traveling, the harder it is to maintain control of your vehicle and the longer it takes for your vehicle to stop, even on dry roads. Slippery surfaces increase the risk of losing control or being unable to stop.
Increase the distance between your car and the car in front of you to at least six seconds. It takes an amount of time and distance for a vehicle to come to a safe stop. The distance needed for stopping increases with the size and the weight of the vehicle, and increases for all vehicles — no matter what size — on slippery surfaces.
Avoid braking and turning at the same time on icy roads, as this can cause you to skid. Instead, brake first, then turn, then accelerate.
Remember that in Oklahoma, the bridges and overpasses are the first roadways to freeze. Use caution when traveling in these areas in cold weather, even if the roadway before the bridge or overpass was not icy at all.
Do not use cruise control on wet, icy, or snowy roads. If you hydroplane or skid, your car will continue to try and accelerate in order to maintain the cruise control speed.
The Wolf Pack Can Help
While preparation can increase your safety when driving during the winter months, it won’t make other drivers more prepared or less careless. If you have been injured by a careless or reckless driver, the Wolf Pack at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys can provide guidance as to the legal options that can help you obtain compensation for the expenses and impacts your injury has caused. Contact us by calling (405) 218-9200 or fill out our online form to schedule a case evaluation.
In the aftermath of a car accident, knowing the right steps to take can be tricky, especially if you’ve suffered serious injuries. While you may be entitled to money for your injuries and other losses if the accident wasn’t your fault, it’s important to remember that your actions can either support or damage your claim later on.
Learn what to do after being involved in a car accident in Oklahoma City, and discover the ways our Oklahoma City car accident lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys can help protect your rights.
Call for Police and Paramedics
The first thing you should do is call 911 so that first responders can get to the scene as quickly as possible. Having police and paramedics on-site is important for many reasons. First, everyone involved in the accident should be seen by medical professionals, even if they don’t feel any serious pain at the moment.
Next, you should talk to the police about filing a report. The police report can serve as a valuable piece of evidence to support your claim down the road.
Get Out of Harm’s Way
Vehicles should be moved out of the road if you’re able to safely do so. The goal here is to prevent any further injuries or accidents with oncoming traffic. If you can’t move the vehicles, get yourself and others out of harm’s way to the best of your ability and wait for help to arrive.
Speak to Others at the Scene
Next, you should exchange information with the other driver(s) involved. Getting names, contact details, and insurance information is important. If they refuse to give you their information, the police can request it when they arrive on the scene.
Also, speak with any witness es of the accident and see if they are willing to make a statement about what they saw. If so, get their contact information, as well. Witness statements can be very useful to your case later on.
If you’re able to do so, document everything that happened at the scene of the accident exactly as you remember it and in as much detail as possible. If you can, take photos of your surroundings, any injuries, and the damage to the vehicles. Get pictures from different distances and angles. The more evidence you can collect, the better.
Call Your Insurance Company
As soon as you’re able, report the accident to your own insurance company. However, don’t try to tell your side of the story or exaggerate — just stick to the facts. The key here is to have the accident on record in the event that you need to rely on your insurance coverage.
It’s also important to keep in mind that you’ll likely start to get calls from the other driver’s insurance company. Remember that you aren’t obligated to speak with them and it’s in your best interest to direct them to your attorney instead.
Call Our Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyers
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, get help from an Oklahoma City car accident lawyer at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys. There’s a reason we are known as The Wolf Pack. We’re always ready to fight aggressively for your rights after a car accident that wasn’t your fault.
We’ll remind the insurance companies that you’re the victim and fight for the FULL amount of compensation you deserve, so you can focus on getting better. All you have to do is give us a call at 405-218-9200 or fill out our free case review form. Let The Wolf Pack fight for you!
Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyers Want to Keep You Safe
Construction on the Interstate 235 interchange with Interstate 44 in Oklahoma City is being called the biggest construction job in all of the great state of Oklahoma. Is it causing more problems than it’s solving?
On I-235 north, the last sign for the I-44 interchange is almost 2 miles away, and it offers no guidance for exiting. Drivers who are unfamiliar with the area are at the mercy of their sense of direction or their GPS systems.
Navigating through complex construction zones can be tricky and dangerous. As experienced Oklahoma City car accident lawyers, we worry about the safety of individuals in our community driving through these dangerous zones. At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, it’s important to our team that our neighbors in Oklahoma City know how to stay safe in construction zones and what to do in the event of an accident.
How to Stay Safe While Driving Through a Construction Zone
Construction zones can be incredibly dangerous, especially if not properly marked with signs. The Oklahoman reported that the Department of Transportation had recently shifted the exit lane for NW 63rd Street, leaving only a sign with the word “Exit” on it.
“There’s been multiple lane shifts throughout this whole project so, as we’re making all these lane shifts and we’re switching up traffic, we’re evaluating the signage, making sure that we have everything in place,” traffic engineer Trent January told The Oklahoman.
The following are ways you can stay safe while driving through the I-44 construction:
Don’t speed through a construction zone. There could be unexpected sharp turns, loose gravel, or men and women at work that may cause an accident.
Get Over Early
We all know what it feels like to have merged after seeing the “Lane Closed Ahead” sign, only to watch a few less-considerate drivers bypass the growing line and merge at the front. Don’t be that guy! Signs are put in place for your protection. It’s in your best interest to follow them when they come along.
Rear-end crashes are incredibly common in construction zones. Allowing enough room for a car to fit between you and the vehicle in front of you could save you from a chain reaction of rear-end collisions.
We understand construction zones can be frustrating. However, losing your cool will only make matters more uncomfortable and maybe even dangerous. We see many road rage cases come out of construction zones when drivers let an inconvenience get the best of them. Stay calm so you can arrive at your destination in one piece.
Injured While Driving Through a Construction Zone?
You can do everything right in a construction zone and still wind up in a car accident. That’s why our Oklahoma City car accident lawyers have dedicated their careers to helping injury victims receive the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering.
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