As fall turns to winter in the Pacific Northwest, drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians should consider approaching roadways with greater caution. Slipper roads and black ice can increase the likelihood of crashes or injuries. According to some estimates, over 135,000 people suffer injuries each year due to auto accidents occurring on icy and snowy roads. Here are a few recommendations to keep drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians throughout the Portland and Vancouver area safer during the winter months.
Recognizing the Scope of the Problem
According to the Federal Highway Administration, over 70 percent of the country’s roads can be found in snowy regions, where an average snowfall of five inches occurs each winter. Every year, nearly 76,000 people are injured in vehicle crashes during snowfall or sleet. In addition to slick roads, other hazards like reduced visibility, thick fog, and drivers who do not know how to regain control of a sliding car can jeopardize safety. While snowy states like Michigan and Pennsylvania see high numbers of winter driving-related injuries and fatalities, Oregon and Washinton consistently rank fairly high among all states.
Reducing the Risk of an Auto Accident During the Winter
One of the best ways you can stay safe while driving during dark and snowy winter months is to inspect your vehicle before you head out on the road. Scrape ice off your windshield and mirrors, check the battery and tires and clear out the exhaust pipe of excess snow. You should also consider carrying an emergency case full of supplies, including jumper cables, blankets, and an ice scraper to keep you comfortable in the event of an incident on the road. Remain alert and attentive while driving. Even minor distractions, like reading a text, can threaten your safety.
What to Do if You Suffer An Auto Accident Injury
Even if you exercise caution on winter roadways, accidents still happen. Seek medical attention as soon as possible and report the accident to the police and the insurance company. While you focus on your physical recovery, consider enlisting the help of a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can step in and negotiate an equitable settlement on your behalf. The aftermath of a car accident is often stressful and overwhelming, so let your attorney handle the process of recovering compensation while you focus on improving your health.
Talk to an experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney by calling the Vancouver office of Henderson Taylor Law Firm today at (360) 737-1478.