Hypothermia is a deadly condition that occurs when a person’s body temperature drops to dangerously low levels. The winter months are when people are most at risk of suffering from hypothermia, but victims can also be affected in the spring months if they leave home unprepared for cold conditions. While many people see their cars as safe and warm, if your car stalls in a winter storm, or if you get into an auto accident and find yourself stranded, you and your loved ones could be at risk of getting hypothermia.
Individuals can develop hypothermia when exposed to cold temperatures for long periods of time without proper weather gear. Your age, body fat, and health can also make you more prone to developing the condition. For instance, elderly people and infants are more at risk of suffering from hypothermia than others. People with diabetes or thyroid conditions may also be more at risk.
According to WebMD, some of the common symptoms are shivering, confusion, sleepiness, slurred speech, and problems concentrating. Hypothermia is dangerous because, as your body temperature drops, so does your conscious awareness of the danger. People die when they fail to take early measures to reverse the effects of hypothermia—before it is too late.
If you or a loved one is stranded in your car or if you experience an auto accident in the winter months, there are some important things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from developing hypothermia. For one, you can remove all wet clothes and socks. If you’re waiting for help to arrive, make sure you stay bundled up using a warm blanket or drink a warm beverage, but avoid alcohol and caffeine.
According to CBS News, if you plan to drive in cold weather, it is important to prepare for emergencies. Pack blankets, gloves, an extra layer of warm clothes, and food in your car. If you do happen to get into an accident or if you find yourself stranded, having this emergency kit can mean the difference between life and death. Make sure you bring a charged cell phone with you. That way, if you get into trouble, you can call for help.
If you do find yourself in an auto accident in the winter or get stranded, make sure to stay with your car—this makes it more likely you’ll be found when help arrives. Many people die or suffer from hypothermia when they try to walk to get help after a crash in the winter.
If you’ve been in a car accident and have suffered injuries, it is important that you seek help and get medical attention as soon as possible. In some cases, hypothermia requires medical care, and if left untreated, it can lead to death.
The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino is a personal injury law firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota committed to helping accident victims get the recovery they deserve. If you’ve been in an accident, contact us today to learn more.