The winter weather in Ohio can be particularly brutal and as any native Ohioan knows, aggressive winter weather can wreak havoc on roadways – even despite the valiant efforts put forth by the Ohio Department of Transportation. Knowing what to do when your car crashes or breaks down in winter is of utmost importance.
Common winter issues
One of the most common winter weather driving issues involves skidding and/or “fishtailing” on snow and ice. When this happens, it is best to remain calm and avoid the urge to overcompensate by yanking the steering wheel too far the other direction. In a “fishtail” situation, experts recommend turning the wheel in the same direction as the rear of the vehicle, and the vehicle should eventually even out and come to a stop. If the vehicle is skidding – or it is apparently unable to stop at a stop sign or traffic signal – be sure to immediately turn on hazards, apply the brakes, and engage the horn to alert surrounding motorists that you are unable to stop the vehicle.
Other winter driving problems to consider include the following:
- Malfunctioning vehicle components due to frigid temperatures (particularly in diesel engines)
- Snow drifts & severe wind causing snow piles on previously-paved roadways
- Run-ins with snow plows
- Snow “blindness” in extreme blizzards, causing motorists to become lost even in familiar areas
- Accidents caused by overreaction to conditions or driver inexperience
February 2015 was the coldest month on record in Ohio, creating a dire situation for the state’s population. As well, severe sub-zero temperatures can quickly turn a garden variety winter accident into a tragedy, particularly if a motorist is stranded and is not visible to other motorists.
In preparing for this winter, be sure to keep at least one set of operational flares in the trunk, as well as a stash of food, water, and blankets. If you do not have flares, keep a brightly colored cloth in the car and tie it to the antenna to stay visible. If you depend upon certain medications (e.g., insulin), keep an extra store in the car in case you become stranded or get into an accident.
Note: Remember, even in freezing temperatures, do not keep the vehicle running for long periods. Turn the engine on for 15-20 minutes an hour to keep yourself warm. Always remember to clear the tailpipe of any obstructions before turning on the car.
Contact an Ohio injury attorney today
If you were the victim of a recent auto accident in Ohio, contact Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. today at 419-843-6663 to discuss your options.