How To Handle Common Road Troubles
Driving down the road can be dangerous. There are a lot of hazards that you need to watch out for if you want to prevent an accident or prevent injury during an accident. Although today's safety technology is improving, drivers are also driving faster and more aggressively than ever. Relying on safety technology is no substitute for safe driving habits such as waiting at least four seconds when you brake at a stop sign and keeping safe following distances.
However, there are only so many preventative measures that you can take. At the end of the day, a lot of car accidents may just boil down to chance. And in the event of a mishap, car accident attorney Lakota Denton says that a lawyer will do the work and obtain the evidence required to determine who is at fault in an accident. Most of the time, fault can be imputed by failure to yield, failure to maintain reasonable operating speeds in inclement weather, and other reckless behaviors. If you follow the advice below in preparing for road hazards, you will reduce the risks of suffering an accident.
Prepare to Meet Local Hazards
Poor Lighting and Potholes
A good starting point for preparation is knowing what types of accidents and road hazards are common in the area that you are traveling through. For example, in some states like West Virginia, you will find that the roads are hilly, dark, and often loaded with deep potholes. You are most likely to get into an accident in West Virginia by blowing out a tire or missing a turn. If you blow out a tire, it can be hard to steer your vehicle properly. Unlike many highways across the nation, the main freeways in West Virginia are almost entirely without lighting and are often too far away from civilization to benefit from city illumination.
If you are driving a vehicle that does not have very strong headlights or during inclement weather when visibility is further obstructed, it is safer to pull over to the nearest exit and stop at a hotel, if necessary, to rest for the night. When navigating pothole-riddled streets, you should never succumb to the presumption that you have to hasten your vehicle to keep the flow of traffic moving. Instead, you should take your time and steer clear of the voluminous road hazard potholes and patchwork on city streets.
Investing in quality tires and swapping them out when they approach 5 years of age are other important aspects of avoiding a dangerous blowout. And because overinflated tires increase the risk of a blowout exponentially, you should always ensure that your tires are properly inflated.
Hail and Black Ice
There are also areas in the country and times of the season when you are more likely to encounter a severe hail storm or even black ice. Black ice can be deadly because it often occurs in areas where the snow or ice doesn't accumulate. Black ice is a very thin transparent layer of slick ice that can send cars spinning at an intersection when they encounter it. Hail is bad because it can literally destroy certain late-model vehicles that are made of thin sheet metal. The metal is too soft and will wind up looking like someone used it for target practice if you do get caught up in a storm.
Ensuring that your vehicle is designed with rigid steel that is better suited to deflect hail and running on tires that have sipes (thin slits that bite onto icy surfaces) on them, if even an all-season version, will help reduce the chances of becoming a victim of these saints of circumstance accidents. You should also carry a thick blanket or car cover to put over your vehicle on the side of the road in the event that hail storms do hit. And to prepare for black ice, you should always take additional precautions when driving at night during or after inclement weather.
There are some areas and situations where the roads are very low and prone to flooding during heavy rains. Many drivers in these situations would rather risk getting stuck in the water than accept the certainty of being stuck at a crossing and being unable to cross through high water. Water on roadways can be deceptively deep. It is easy for drivers to overestimate a car's mechanical ability to handle it.
The problem with driving through water is that the air intake may not be high enough to clear the water hazard without sucking water into the engine and thereby water-locking it. This is why heavy-duty off-road trucks are equipped with an air intake that rises high above the hood called a snorkel. If you don't have a snorkel and an off-road truck built for high water, it is probably a good idea to turn around or wait for the water to subside.
Snow and Ice
When you encounter regular snow and ice on the roads, you should always slow down or park your vehicle for the night. Sometimes, drivers will find that they have to pull over to the shoulder for safety when the snowfall becomes too intense. Keeping emergency blankets, bottled water, and insulated winter-grade sleeping bags in your vehicle is the smart thing to do if you drive in areas that accumulate a lot of snow and ice.
There may be remote areas in Vermont and Maine, where it is impossible to even get a cell phone signal. If you slide off the road, it may be awhile before someone can get around to locating you. Fitting your vehicle with a quality set of snow tires and keeping an extra set of chains for emergencies are some other smart measures that will help you combat the climate changes.
While there are a number of preventative measures that you can take to mitigate or avoid the types of accidents that commonly occur in an area, there is always a chance that you will be involved in an accident. When that happens, you need a talented personal injury lawyer who will fight to win you the full compensation that you deserve. Never accept anything less!