Injuries from Car Accidents on Icy Roads
Especially during the Winter, icy roads are some of the most dangerous things we encounter on the road. Sometimes, roads are kept clear and ice-free. Other times water and snow is allowed to stay on the road, making a huge inconvenience and danger to motorists when it freezes into ice.
Driving on ice is not easy, and because of this, other drivers trying to avoid ice are sometimes just as dangerous as the ice itself. We’ve already given you 6 Tips for Safe Winter Driving in Utah, but sometimes driving safely is just not enough. So what happens when you get into an accident because of icy roads?
The Dangers of Icy Roads
In the Winter, the ground can be very cold, and even small puddles can become dangerous patches of ice. Some ice is practically invisible, especially to drivers on the road who see the street at an angle. These invisible patches of ice can suddenly send a car off-course, making navigating the roads very dangerous. Making sharp turns, especially at high speeds, can be deadly on an icy street. Even heavy cars and trucks may spin-out or flip on icy roads.
Additionally, cars are not equipped well to come to a sudden stop on ice. Ice can contribute to a car’s inability to stop quickly, especially if the driver is already speeding. This means that cars can more easily slide into intersections, creating hazards to cross traffic and pedestrians.
Even when snowplows and salt are heavily used, the road still might not be safe. Water can get into cracks in the road and, when the water freezes and expands, turn small cracks into larger dangers. Pot holes and cracks in the road are some of the other dangers ice creates on the road.
What Do You Do if You Are in an Accident on an Icy Road?
Just like with any car accident, the first thing you should do is call 911. If anyone is injured, emergency medical services can help treat them. Police should be called so that they can make a police report for the incident. Keep in mind that some injuries are not obvious, and some may not even be noticed until the next day or later. It is important to make sure you get the care you need.
If you are severely injured, sit and seek help. Do not try to strain yourself, especially if you might have a back, neck, or head injury.
If your car is in a dangerous place, get your car (if possible) and yourself to a safe location. Especially in wintry months, it is cold and dark, so make sure that you are warm and the area is well-lit. The side of the road might not be easily accessed, especially if snow is piled-up along the side of the road, so be careful of hidden dangers in the snow. If your car is on fire, while that might be warm, it is a clear safety hazard and you should keep your distance and immediately notify 911.
Make sure to get the contact information and insurance information for any other motorists or pedestrians involved in the crash. Also get the contact info for any witnesses. These could be very important later if you need to make a claim against any of the parties involved.
If you can do so safely, take as many pictures of the scene of the crash and the surrounding areas. Especially in cold winter months, roads might not look dangerous until you examine them closely. If you can, get pictures of the ice itself. Take note of the following, and get pictures if you can:
- Road conditions
- Lighting conditions
- Road layout and position of other cars, pedestrians, and witnesses
- Traffic lights and signs
- Damaged vehicles
All of these things could be vital to making sure your car’s damage and your injuries get properly reimbursed.
Additionally, do not talk about the accident to anyone but the police. If other drivers or pedestrians say anything, make sure to write down what they say.
If you return home, but in the next few days feel any injuries, seek medical attention immediately. Injuries that are left untreated could get worse. If you are having any persistent pain, especially in the neck or back, or headaches, contact a doctor.
Contact Our Utah Car Accident Lawyers for Help if You’ve Crashed Due to Icy Road Conditions
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed or injured in a car crash on icy winter roads, you may be entitled to compensation. Not every injury from a car accident is immediately noticeable. If you were injured due to a car crash on icy roads, you might have a claim not only for pain and suffering, but to reimburse medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Darwin Overson is a Utah personal injury lawyer who has been practicing for over thirty years. He is experienced in dealing with car accidents on the roads of Salt Lake City and the surrounding area. If you are considering seeking reimbursement, contact Overson & Sheen today at (801) 895-3143.