Winter weather is here, and it is a good time to think about how to stay safe on the road in Alaska. Fatal traffic accidents, many of which happen on icy winter roads, have been on the rise for the past decade in Alaska, despite better seat belt use and new safety features on vehicles. Sadly, even when traffic accidents are not fatal, they can inflict lifetime distress and pain on the victims.
There are several things drivers can do to lessen their chances of being in a serious accident.
- Slow down. One of the simplest and most effective ways to minimize your chances of being hurt in a crash is to slow down when driving on icy or dangerous roads. Speed exponentially multiplies the force that the human body sustains in a crash, so going slower literally reduces the force you experience if you do have an accident. Drivers or passengers traveling at 55 miles per hour are nearly eight times more likely to die in a crash than those traveling at 35 miles per hour, so even a small increase in speed can make a big difference in the outcome of a crash.
- Avoid icy roads when possible. Ice is responsible for a large number of crashes, so staying in when ice is predicted makes sense. If you do not have to travel when the roads are icy, avoid riding or driving. Of course, not everyone can do this, but if you are able to avoid travel during these times, you are far less likely to be involved in a weather-related crash.
- Get snow tires. Snow tires are a great safety feature that helps you avoid skidding on icy roads. Snow tires will give you more traction, making it less likely that you will slip and slide when the road is covered. Of course, snow tires are not a substitute for careful driving, but they can help you have more control over your vehicle.
- Keep an emergency kit in your car. A surprising number of people injured or killed in car crashes each year are not injured in the initial crash but suffer injuries later due to lack of food, water, or first aid. Always keep a first aid kit, a good flashlight, blankets, and a supply of non-perishable food and bottled water in your car just in case you are stranded. Another good thing to have is an emergency road kit with flares and other items that will help you avoid a secondary crash if you are involved in an accident.
No matter what the weather, Barber & Associates is ready to work with you to recover compensation for your vehicle accident. Every year, we represent victims who are injured in truck, car, motorcycle, and ATV accidents and who need help recovering compensation for medical bills, lost wages, expenses, and pain and suffering caused by their injuries. If you are struggling to recover payment for your vehicle accident, give us a call.