It’s that time of year again. Drivers on the road in Minnesota are facing snowy roads and winter driving conditions across the state. The good news is that the Minnesota Department of Transportation has made it easier than ever for drivers to check road conditions before they leave home-and to prepare accordingly.
The winter months bring car accident and dangerous driving conditions including icy roads, reduced visibility with snow storms, and extreme cold. It could also bring incessant rains and unexpected hail storms during which it becomes important to protect your vehicle, even if you are not planning to drive (and it might be better that way). Although in such a case, you need not worry much, because even if your car does face some damage, filing your insurance claim for hail damage is easy with Hail Specialists, so you can get it fixed with practically no losses. What you need to be more aware of is keeping yourself and your family safe during the storm.
If this weather results in your car or home freezing over, you may want to look at products such as this chloride free de-icer for your home and vehicle to use before setting off on the road. The product is eco-friendly, being free of chloride, meaning that it is safer for children, pets and plants. Auto accident lawyers in Minneapolis see many instances where accidents could have been avoided with preparation and prevention.
Here are some things to consider before you hit the road.
- Check Minnesota’s Department of Transportation Cameras. According to the Pioneer Press, Minnesota’s DOT has added 92, live cameras to its 511 traveler information website. The cameras are installed along highways and interstates and can be viewed by the general public. The website also releases travel alerts and weather warnings for drivers who are planning their trips.
- Be cautious when plows are on the road. Pioneer Press reports that there are 850 snow plows at the ready to clear roads when the next storm hits, but drivers need to use caution when plows are working and share the road. Remember that even if a road has been cleared, it may still be slick or icy. In Minnesota alone, 60 crashes involving snow plows took place. Drivers are advised to stay at least 10 car lengths behind a snow plow. Plow drivers often have reduced ability to see other drivers on the road due to the conditions in which they operate.
- Use cold-weather driving care. The same defensive driving strategies you use in the summer should be used in the winter. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, two of the main causes of fatal accidents is drunken driving and distracted driving. The holiday season brings many opportunities to drink, but make sure you have a designated driver before you head out the door.
- Slow down. A 2013 NHTSA survey found that as many as one in five people speed. Weather conditions may alter the speed at which you can travel. When roads are icy or when it is snowing, the speed limit for a given corridor of highway may be too fast for conditions.
- Turn on your headlights. The law in Minnesota requires drivers to turn on the headlights when it is snowing. When the weather is poor, it’s always a good idea to have the lights on.
Already more people have died on Minnesota roads than all of 2014. With the holiday season approaching, more motorists will be traveling and the risk of drunk drivers will likely increase. Small choices make a big difference in everyone’s safety. Yet, sometimes other driver’s decisions have an immense impact on other people’s lives. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a personal injury lawyer can fight for your rights. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino helps families seek recovery when other drivers fail to follow the law and exercise due caution.