Winter is a magical time here in Colorado. With the cold and snow comes the opportunity to participate in the activities so many of us love and look forward to. From skiing and snowboarding to ice skating and ice fishing, and all things in between, Colorado is a world-famous winter destination that attracts visitors from across the globe. While most of us cannot wait for winter weather to come and for the snow to start falling, there are certainly dangers that come along with it. Icy roads and white-out conditions, combined with tourists from other states and countries, makes for a perfect storm when it comes to car crashes. The specialized Denver car accident attorneys at Manning Law hope that the following information will help keep everyone safe out on the roads this winter but also provide you with the knowledge necessary to protect a potential insurance claim if you do happen to be involved in a collision.
Tips For Preventing a Winter Car Crash
There is no way to completely insulate yourself from being involved in an accident this winter, there are certainly ways in which to help prevent it. The first is to make sure your vehicle is ready for the different conditions that winter throws at us.
Sure, “winter tires” are ideal, but they are also quite expensive. Given that this type of tire is not possible for most of us, we highly recommend an “all-season tire” and that you leave the sports car with the racing tires in the garage until the Spring! It is also wise to stop by your local Big-O, Discount Tire, or Les Schwab in the Fall for a free tire inspection. They will ensure that your tires have the recommended inflation and tread depth to provide the best possible grip while driving in inclement weather.
Just as important as proper tires is to make sure that your vehicle’s fluids and oil are “topped off”, particularly anti-freeze and windshield wiper fluid. As for wiper fluid, I know that we have all been there; it had snowed a few days earlier, but the sun had reappeared and it has all melted, so we figured the worst was over and the morning commute to work would be a piece of cake. But we forgot about the dreaded dirty windshield. We aren’t on I-25 more than two minutes before the mix of wet, grimy dirt and the glare of the sun makes it completely impossible to see through our windshield. While snow and ice are the cause of countless crashes throughout the winter, this scenario cannot be overlooked and being just as dangerous, and maybe even more so due to the high speeds other vehicles may be traveling due to the otherwise “safe” road conditions. So please, please keep an extra bottle (or two) of windshield wiper fluid in your vehicle at all times to prevent this very dangerous situation.
And finally, please slow down and take your time when road conditions are affected by inclement weather this winter. So many of us that have driven all-wheel drive vehicles through many Colorado winters know that they are not fool proof! However, as was mentioned before, Colorado sees a massive number of tourists visiting from around the world each winter. In fact, Colorado Tourism Industry estimated nearly 100 million visitors in 2022, many of them coming during the winter. These visitors, especially those from warmer locations, will often rent an SUV and wrongly assume that they can now speed across I-70 and that their all-wheel drive vehicle is somehow invincible and impervious to ice and snow. We urge everyone to educate their friends and family visiting during the winter that no vehicle is immune to icy conditions and to please, TAKE IT SLOW!
What to Do If You Are Involved in a Winter Car Collision
While there are ways to help prevent a winter-related car crash, there is no way to avoid them entirely. If you experience a collision this winter, the following tips and information will help make sure that you are compensated for any damages that you may incur.
The very first thing to do following an accident is to call 911. Even if your vehicle is not severely damaged or if you are not experiencing immediate pain or injury, calling 911 is still imperative. The involvement of a trained police officer will lead to a report that will make sure that the driver responsible for your damages is held accountable and that their insurance company compensates you for your losses. Without a police report, it can quickly turn into a “he said, she said” situation and you may be left out in the cold when it comes to paying your medical bills and for the repairs to your vehicle. Even if you contact 911 and they say that it may take an hour or more for an officer to arrive on scene, try to wait if you can.
Whether it be due to weather conditions or availability, 911 may say that no officer is available to come and investigate the incident. In this event, the more you can document the scene, the better. Start by taking as many pictures and videos as possible. If there are witnesses, obtain their contact information so that they can be contacted later to provide statements as to what they saw and heard. Ultimately, the more information and documentation you can gather that will ensure that the responsible party is held liable for the damage they caused, the better. Many times, the at-fault driver will accept fault on the scene but then tell a different story to their insurance company, leading to their denial of your claim.
If following the crash, you begin to experience pain or other injury symptoms, make sure to let the police officer or EMT know while on the scene. Strongly consider transport to the emergency room via ambulance or other means directly from the scene so that your injuries can be documented and addressed immediately. Otherwise, make sure to consult with a medical provider as soon as humanly possible.
Finally, once it is safe to do so, call the experienced Denver personal injury attorneys at Manning Law for a free consultation. We are here to make sure that your rights are preserved and that you receive fair and just compensation for the damages that you have suffered.