As we move into the holiday season, many of us are already turning our attention toward the holidays. Thanksgiving has already arrived and it’s only a few more weeks before even more celebrations commence. For Alaskans, the arrival of the holiday season has also meant that once again we are going to have to adjust our driving to the norms and requirements of winter. The days will get shorter, the roads will become slipperier and the weather will get progressively worse for a few weeks or months before getting better. It’s just part of life here, but it’s also something that we should prepare for as much as possible.
According to statistics that are kept by the Alaska Department of Transportation, we are entering the time of year when car accidents occur with the most frequency. Specifically, more accidents occur in December than during any other month of the year. More than 4,000 crashes take place in December, and they lead to an average of nearly 500 injuries and to approximately 5 fatalities. There are ways to minimize the chance that we will be involved in a crash, and below are five suggestions to keep in mind as we get behind the wheel in winter:
- Slow Down
Sometimes the most obvious suggestion is also the best one. Almost anyone tends to drive a bit faster when the roads are dry and the sun is bright, but that simply is asking for problems if we do the same thing when we traverse roads that are wet, icy and dark.
- Let Someone Know
One of the unique aspects of Alaska is that we can be out in the wilderness alone for hours. While this is inviting for many reasons, it’s also dangerous when we’re out traveling alone if we are in an accident. Let someone know where you are going before you leave so that help can be alerted if you fall out of contact.
All of us have either been in a vehicle that began to fishtail in the snow because the brakes were applied with too much force or we have seen other drivers make the same mistake. As counterintuitive as it seems, we will stop faster if we do not slam on the brakes when we encounter these conditions.
- Give People Room
Given the fact that we do need extra room to slow down and to maneuver around other drivers, we also need to be sure to provide those other drivers with some extra room. This not only benefits them, but it provides us with a measure of safety as well.
- Stay Calm
Everyone has been frustrated at one time or another while behind the wheel, and that’s especially so when we are crawling along in bad weather. Remain as calm as possible so that bad decisions made emotionally are avoided.
Overall, driving in the winter in Alaska requires a different approach to this task. If you or someone you love has been harmed in a crash caused by someone else, contact the Alaska accident lawyers at Barber and Associates, LLC today to schedule a free initial consultation.