According to road safety authorities in New York, most storm-related deaths and injuries across the state are caused by automobile accidents. They urge people to drive only when necessary, and to adjust their driving to match the weather and road conditions. Car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, often with devastating consequences. Drivers should allow extra travel time, take care around snowplows, and remember that surfaces like bridges can be covered with invisible black ice.
Preparing the car for the winter is a good idea, and a thorough checkup before a long trip is also smart. Knowing that the battery, ignition, brake and exhaust systems work perfectly and that wipers, thermostat, heater, defroster, lights and other essential parts are properly functioning is a good idea. Check the tread on the tires, and it might be wise to load a set of tire chains, a scraper for the windshield, and other ice removal equipment.
In the event of a breakdown or an accident, it is best to remain in the vehicle. Make sure the exhaust is free of ice before running the engine for limited periods to stay warm. Use the hazard lights and the dome light to signal rescuers and other vehicles, especially if the car is on the roadway. Hanging a bright-colored cloth from the car might also help to attract attention.
Unfortunately, not all drivers drive with the necessary care during winter storms, and others might suffer the consequences. Victims of car accidents that resulted from the negligence of others might have grounds to pursue claims for financial relief. If a viable claim exists, an experienced New York personal injury attorney can navigate a civil lawsuit that might bring a monetary judgment to cover documented financial losses.