Winter Storm Boreas hit the roads, skies and everything in between Thanksgiving week. Holiday traffic nearly ground to a halt as snow and ice made travel nearly impossible for millions of people. Barely back to work after the holiday and still reeling from Boreas, Winter Storm Cleon sent temperatures in Texas plummeting 50 degrees in one 24-hour period. Cleon ushered in record-breaking arctic chills across much of the country the first week in December. Producing a mixture of ice, freezing rain and snow, Cleon left a trail of destruction in its wake: car accidents, downed power lines, and airport delays and cancellations. But even as affected states were beginning to return their roadways to normal, Winter Storm Deon slammed into mid-Atlantic and northeastern states, producing record snowfalls and frigid temperatures across half of the country in mid-December. Now, even before people have been able to dig out from Deon, Winter Storm Electra is delivering a one-two punch...
Wait! It is not even officially winter yet and we have had four huge winter storms that have wreaked havoc with travel, caused thousands of car accidents, disrupted power service to millions, and resulted in countless slip/fall injuries. We are in for a long winter...regardless of when it officially begins.
In 2011, the Colorado State Patrol reported 5,337 accidents on snowy or icy conditions. So how do we minimize the chance of being one of those accidents in a winter full of snow and ice? Your Denver accident attorney has some basic winter driving tips to help you keep holiday travel safe:
- Avoid sudden stops/starts and quick lane changes
- Pay attention to your surroundings; watch out for the other driver; concentrate and avoid distractions
- Consider the amount of traction you have and adjust your driving accordingly
- If you do skid, steer into the direction the car's rear end is traveling
- Keep more distance between cars in front and back
- Practice driving in snow in an empty parking lot or other clear space; until you actually drive in snow and ice you won't know how to maneuver your vehicle
The most basic driving tip of all: use common sense. If a road or hill looks impassible, use another route. If you experience skidding/swerving, slow down, even if that means driving under the speed limit. If the weather and road conditions are really bad--stay home!
Car accidents are not the only winter accidents to avoid. Your Denver accident attorney knows that snow and ice create perfect conditions for pedestrians to slip and fall. When walking around the neighborhood or around a shopping plaza in snow and ice, leave the stilettos and loafers at home! Wear footgear that has some traction. Pay attention to the sidewalks just as you would to the roadways. Try to walk only where snow and ice have been cleared, and the surface has been treated with salt or sand. Pay attention to signs and safety cones indicating wet surfaces--both indoors and out.
When entering a home or a building, wipe your feet on an available mat. If you encounter a wet, slippery floor or pavement area, notify the owner. Homeowners have a duty to make the sidewalk in front of their home, their driveway and entranceway free from slip/fall risks for guests. Your Denver accident attorney advises home and property owners to stay prepared for snow and ice with a bag of salt, a shovel or other means of snow removal, and plenty of floor mats. Always keep walkways and doorways well-lit.
Following these simple measures may not eliminate every accident, but it will go a long way toward making your holidays and winter safer. For more information on slip/fall injuries and premises liability, contact your Denver accident attorney at Levine Law today.